Serum levels of interferon-gamma and the IFN-dependent marker molecules neopterin and beta 2-microglobulin were assessed in BMT recipients. Concentrations of the latter two markers were corrected for creatinine levels in order to eliminate the impact of alteration of kidney function. Serum levels were assessed daily using commercially available radioimmunoassays. Twelve patients were studied during the early phase of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation and eleven additional patients during complications of BMT. Results indicated that both the conditioning regimen for BMT as well as major clinical complications such as infection and acute graft-versus-host disease strongly influence the endogenous patterns of the lymphokine and its secondary messages. During allogeneic BMT IFN-gamma and neopterin levels exhibited a biphasic pattern with a first peak during conditioning with high-dose cyclophosphamide and a second still higher peak at the time of hemopoietic regeneration. beta-2-microglobulin ratios increased during conditioning and remained elevated throughout observation. Serious infections of bacterial and viral origin as well as GvHD were accompanied by elevated levels of all three serum parameters studied. The kinetics of enhanced endogenous production, however, differed between infectious complications and GvHD. Increasing concentrations were observed during infections subsequent to clinical manifestation, whereas they preceded disease manifestation in GvHD.