Experimental evidence suggests that the activation of purinoceptors by extracellular adenosine can modulate proliferation and/or differentiation of hematopoietic cells. The present study was undertaken to investigate the potential interactions of this system of intercellular signaling with the effects of granulocyte colony- stimulating factor (G-CSF) on granulopoiesis in vivo. Elevation of extracellular adenosine in normal mice was induced by the joined administration of dipyridamole, a drug inhibiting the cellular uptake of adenosine, and adenosine monophosphate (AMP), an adenosine prodrug. The effects of dipyridamole, AMP, and G-CSF, administered either alone or in combinations, were evaluated. The agents were injected to mice in a 4-day regimen, and the hematologic endpoints were determined 24 hours after the completion of the treatment. It was shown that the effects of G-CSF, ie, increases in peripheral blood neutrophils, granulocyte- macrophage progenitor cells (GM-CFC), and morphologically determined granulocytic cells in femoral marrow and a decrease in the marrow erythroid cells, can be enhanced by the combination of dipyridamole plus AMP administered 30 minutes before G-CSF. Furthermore, it was ascertained that the stimulatory action of dipyridamole plus AMP was expressed particularly at lower doses of G-CSF (1.5, 3, and 4.5 micrograms/d). At higher doses of G-CSF (6 and 9 micrograms/d), the interactions were no more evident. When combining dipyridamole, AMP, and 3 micrograms of G-CSF, peripheral neutrophils increased approximately 3.9- to 4.5-fold compared with an approximate 2.2-fold increase induced by G-CSF alone. The results indicate the possible therapeutic potential of combination therapy with G-CSF and drugs increasing extracellular adenosine.