Recombinant granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) was administered to healthy young (n = 32) and elderly (n = 19) volunteers (0 microgram/d, 30 microgram/d, or 300 microgram/d) to determine its effect on neutrophil production, blood kinetics, and tissue migration. Measurements included blood counts (daily), marrow neutrophil pool sizes and neutrophil tissue migration (baseline and day 5), blood kinetics (day 6), and marrow transit time while on drug (days 6 to 14). G-CSF markedly expanded the marrow neutrophil mitotic pool and shortened the transit time of the postmitotic pool (control, mean = 6.4 days; 300 microgram/d, mean = 2.9 d). G-CSF increased neutrophil production without significantly altering blood neutrophil half-life or margination. Compared to control, neutrophil accumulation in skin chambers decreased by about 50% in the 300 microgram/d group in both young and elderly subjects. G-CSF induced neutrophilia by stimulating proliferation of marrow neutrophil precursors and accelerating neutrophil entry into the blood. Decreased neutrophil inflammatory responses measured with the skin chamber technique may be because of the relative immaturity of the circulating cells or to alterations in neutrophil phenotype induced by G-CSF.