We have previously demonstrated that continuous administration of dose-escalation zidovudine (AZT) in either normal or LP-BM5 MuLV immunodeficient virus-infected mice (MAIDS) was associated with the development of anemia, neutropenia, and thrombocytopenia. Hematopoietic growth factors/cytokines are being evaluated to determine their efficacy in ameliorating the hematopoietic toxicity associated with AZT. In normal mice receiving AZT, an increase in only plasma erythropoietin and not GM-CSF, Meg-CSF or TNF-alpha has been reported. This article describes studies that investigated the effect of combination interleukin-3 (IL-3) and granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) administered in normal non-viral, viral-infected, and viral-infected C57BL6 mice receiving dose-escalation AZT, i.e. 0.1 mg/ml, 1.0 mg/ml, and 2.5 mg/ml placed in the drinking water. Non-viral control mice responded to IL-3/GM-CSF by increasing erythropoiesis, myelopoiesis and platelet production measured by increased bone marrow and spleen derived erythroid, myeloid and platelet precursor stem cells cultured in semi-solid media. Virus-infected control mice not receiving IL-3/GM-CSF developed pancytopenia. Administration of IL-3/GM-CSF to virus-infected mice receiving dose-escalation AZT did not ameliorate the peripheral pancytopenia associated with immunodeficiency disease and AZT treatment, even though erythroid, myeloid and platelet precursor progenitor cells were increased at certain times when compared to either normal or viral-infected mice receiving IL-3/GM-CSF. These results indicate that the combination use of IL-3 and GM-CSF in vivo is only a partially effective growth factor/cytokine treatment to ameliorate the hematopoietic toxicity associated with the use of the anti-viral drug zidovudine.