To define an optimal regimen for mobilizing and collecting peripheral blood progenitor cells (PBPC) for use in allogeneic transplantation, we evaluated the kinetics of mobilization by filgrastim (recombinant met- human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor [r-metHuG-CSF]) in normal volunteers. Filgrastim was injected subcutaneously for up to 10 days at a dose of 3 (n = 10), 5 (n = 5), or 10 micrograms/kg/d (n = 15). A subset of volunteers from each dose cohort underwent a 7L leukapheresis on study day 6 (after 5 days of filgrastim). Granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming cell (GM-CFC) numbers in the blood were maximal after 5 days of filgrastim; a broader peak was evident for CD34+ cells between days 4 and 6. The 95% confidence intervals (CI) for mean number of PBPC per milliliter of blood in the three dose cohorts overlapped on each study day. However, on the peak day, CD34+ cells were significantly higher in the 10 micrograms/kg/d cohort than in a pool of the 3 and 5 micrograms/kg/d cohorts. Mobilization was not significantly influenced by volunteer age or sex. Leukapheresis products obtained at the 10 micrograms/kg/d dose level contained a median GM-CFC number of 93 x 10(4)/kg (range, 50 x 10(4)/kg to 172 x 10(4)/kg). Collections from volunteers receiving lower doses of filgrastim contained a median GM- CFC number of 36 x 10(4)/kg (range, 5 x 10(4)/kg to 204 x 10(4)/kg). The measurement of CD34+ cells per milliliter of blood on the day of leukapheresis predicted the total yield of PBPC in the leukapheresis product (r = .87, P < .0001). Assuming a minimum GM-CFC requirement of 50 x 10(4)/kg (based on our experience with autologous PBPC transplantation), all seven leukapheresis products obtained at the 10 micrograms/kg/d dose level were potentially sufficient for allogeneic transplantation purposes. We conclude that in normal donors, filgrastim 10 micrograms/kg/d for 5 days with a single leukapheresis on the following day is a highly effective regimen for PBPC mobilization and collection. Further studies are required to determine whether PBPC collected with this regimen reliably produce rapid and sustained engraftment in allogeneic recipients.