Megakaryocyte growth and development factor (MGDF) is a recently characterized ligand for the cell surface receptor mpl. We have evaluated the effects of polyethylene glycollated recombinant human MGDF (PEG-rHuMGDF) on recovery of hematopoietic cells in mice following bone marrow transplantation (BMT) to support lethal irradiation. Mice treated with PEG-rHuMGDF (50 micrograms/kg/d) had accelerated recovery of platelet numbers compared with BMT mice treated with carrier or recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (rHuG-CSF, 72 or 200 micrograms/kg/d). In contrast, PEG-rHuMGDF had no effect on white blood cell (WBC) or red blood cell (RBC) recovery. As previously reported, animals treated with rHuG-CSF had an enhanced recovery of WBC but not platelet or RBC levels. Interestingly, BMT receipient mice treated with the combination of PEG-rHuMGDF and rHuG-CSF showed simultaneous enhanced recovery of both leukocytes and platelets. PEGylated rHuMGDF was found to be considerably more potent than non- PEGylated rHuMGDF in this setting. PEG-rHuMGDF is an effective growth factor for enhancing platelet recovery in mice following BMT either alone or in combination with rHuG-CSF. It will be of interest to evaluate in a clinical setting the ratios of PEG-rHuMGDF and rHuG-CSF for simultaneous administration of these factors and accelerated recovery of both leukocytes and platelets.