We quantified circulating and storage neutrophils, their precursors and progenitors, and mRNA for some of the cytokines involved in granulocytopoiesis, in newborn and adult mice following intrapulmonary inoculation of Escherichia coli. Four hours following inoculation of adult and newborn mice with a quantity of organisms 2 logs below the LD100, all animals were neutropenic. After 24 h, adults had recovered from the neutropenia but neonates had not (p < 0.001). Accelerated neutrophil production was evident in the infected adults, and correlated with the appearance of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) transcripts in the liver, spleen, and lung, and interleukin-6 (IL-6) transcripts in the spleen and lung. An increase in neutrophil production was not observed in the neonates, and none of their organs tested had transcripts for either G-CSF or IL-6, but they did have transcripts for cytokines not involved in granulocytopoiesis; macrophage colony-stimulating factor and its receptor (c-fms). We speculate that the failure to increase neutrophil production in infected neonatal mice is the result of failure to increase production of relevant cytokines.