To examine the interaction between immature myeloid cells and stromal cells in the induction of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) production, stromal cells of the MC3T3-G2/PA6 (PA6) murine cell line, which has preadipocyte characteristics and can support hematopoiesis, were cocultured with various myeloid cell lines and G-CSF mRNA expression was examined by Northern and reverse transcriptase- polymerase chain reaction analyses. A significant amount of G-CSF mRNA was induced by the culture of an interleukin-3/G-CSF-dependent murine myeloid leukemia cell line, NFS-60, on PA6 stromal cells for 16 hours. Using a G-CSF-dependent subline of DA-1 (DA-1N), the biologic activity of G-CSF was also detected in PA6/NFS-60 coculture supernatants, but not in the culture supernatant of PA6 or NFS-60 alone. Direct contact of NFS-60 cells with the PA6 stromal layer was essential for the induction of G-CSF mRNA, as indicated by the following observations: (1) NFS-60 cells efficiently adhered to PA6 cells; (2) medium conditioned by NFS-60 cells did not contain the activity to induce G- CSF mRNA in PA6 cells; and (3) induction of G-CSF mRNA was not observed when NFS-60 cells were separated from PA6 cells by a microporous membrane (0.45-microns pore size). Several other myeloid cell lines, including FDC-P2, 32Dcl3, WEHI-3, and DA-1, did not induce G-CSF mRNA expression after the coculture with PA6 cells, although significant numbers of these cells adhered to PA6 cells. Therefore, NFS-60 cells may express or overexpress a molecule that is involved in adhesion- mediated induction of G-CSF production.