Hematopoietic processes display 24h rhythms both in rodents and in human beings. We hypothesized these rhythms to be in part generated by a circadian oscillator within the bone marrow. The ability of murine bone marrow granulo-monocytic (GM) precursors to form colonies following colony-stimulating factor (rm GM-CSF) exposure was investigated in liquid culture samples obtained every 3 h for a span of up to 198 h. The CFU-GM count varied rhythmically over the first 4 d of culture, with a reproducible maximum in the early morning hours, similar to that observed in vivo. These experiments provide the first evidence that bone marrow progenitors sustain in vitro circadian rhythmicity, and they demonstrate the presence of a circadian time-keeping system within these cells. The results support the potential usefulness of bone marrow cultures for investigating chronopharmacologic effects of anticancer drugs and cytokines on this target system.