The hematopoietic cell S/T kinase Pim-1 was originally discovered as a target of murine leukemia provirus integration, and when expressed at increased levels is predisposing to lymphomagenesis. Recently, Pim-1 has been shown to enhance the activities of p100, c-Myb and cdc25a, and in part this might explain reported effects on mitogenesis. In the context of cytokine withdrawal, Pim-1 also can attenuate programmed cell death (PCD). Cytokine withdrawal, however, alters signaling pathways and can complicate the dissection of mitogenic vs apoptotic responses. To better study possible effects of Pim-1 on PCD, a hematopoietic cell model was developed in which proliferation was supported efficiently by SCF plus EPO in the absence of endogenous Pim-1 gene expression. This was provided by factor-dependent FDCW2 cells that express endogenous and functional c-Kit, and were transfected stably with truncated Epo receptor form mutated at a Y343 STAT5 binding site. In proliferating cells, exogenously expressed Pim-1 was observed to efficiently inhibit PCD as induced by either Co60 or adriamycin, and the dose-dependent nature of this effect was established in several independent clones. By comparison, effects of exogenous Pim-1 on mitogenesis were nominal. In addition, in cell fractionation studies an estimated 25% of Mr 34000 Pim-1 (but not Mr 44000 Pim-1) was present in nuclear extracts. Thus, Pim-1 efficiently buffers hematopoietic progenitor cells against death as induced by several clinically important apoptotic agents, and may directly target nuclear effectors.