Human granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) can support the survival and short term proliferation of the interleukin 3 (IL 3)-dependent diploid murine hemopoietic progenitor cell line 32D C13. After 8 days in the presence of 30 U/ml of G-CSF and in the absence of IL 3, the great majority of 32D C13 cells becomes positive for myeloperoxidase (a marker that appears at the promyelocytic stage of the granulocytic lineage) and progressively differentiates into lactoferrin-containing neutrophilic granulocytes. Myeloperoxidase mRNA rapidly increases after 24 to 48 hr of treatment with G-CSF, peaks at day 6 and is no longer detectable at day 9 and 12, paralleling the appearance of myeloperoxidase-positive promyelocytes and myelocytes in the culture. After 12 days, 100% of the cells terminally differentiate, and clonogenic assays in IL 3-containing semisolid media indicate that the whole population has irreversibly lost proliferative capability. By using varying concentrations of both murine IL 3 and recombinant human G-CSF, the cultures develop an heterogeneous population of cells representing all the differentiation stages of the myeloid lineage, and the relative ratios of immature proliferating precursors and terminally differentiated cells present in the cultures can be modulated by modifying the concentrations of IL 3 or recombinant human G-CSF. Isobolic curves indicate that IL 3 and G-CSF have an antagonistic effect on the proliferation of 32D C13 cells. Thus, these cells represent a simplified in vitro model of normal granulocytic differentiation whose extent may be modulated completely in the presence of serum by two well-defined growth and differentiation factors: IL 3 and G-CSF.