Cyclophosphamide (CY) accelerates autoimmune diabetes in the NOD mouse at different levels, including critical targeting of a regulatory T cell subset, exacerbation of pro-Th1 IFN-gamma production and promotion of inflammation in pancreatic islets. Here we evaluated the ability of G-CSF to antagonize the acceleration of the disease induced by CY. Human recombinant G-CSF, administered daily at 200 microg/kg by s.c. injection, protected NOD mice from CY-accelerated onset of glycosuria and insulitis. G-CSF accelerated the recovery of the T cell compartment after the depletion of the lymphoid compartment triggered by CY injection. It selectively prevented the loss of the immunoregulatory T cells expressing the CD4(+)CD25+ phenotype that also stained CD62L+ in peripancreatic lymph nodes and promoted their expansion in the spleen. In addition to this, it abrogated the robust cytokine--particularly IFN-gamma- and chemokine burst triggered in immune cells by CY. G-CSF promoted only slight changes in the inflammatory effects of CY at the target tissue site, assessed by chemokine induction within the pancreas. Thus the immunoregulatory properties of G-CSF were critical in the early control of the accelerating effects of CY on autoimmune diabetes in the NOD mouse.