The major effect of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) is to induce neutrophilia in previously untreated animals or after chemotherapy or marrow transplantation in humans, primates and rodents. In addition, it has been reported that migration of committed progenitor cells to the blood occurs during G-CSF therapy. In this article, by using sex mismatched transplants and a molecular probe for Y-chromosome specific DNA sequences, we show that among the peripheral blood cells during G-CSF therapy are substantial numbers of primitive stem cells capable of (1) reconstituting the hematopoietic system in the long term, and (2) making a contribution to the lymphoid populations of the thymus, in radiation ablated recipients. These data suggest that blood from patients treated with G-CSF may provide a convenient source of the most primitive stem cells for autologous or allogeneic bone marrow transplantation.

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