End-stage renal failure (ESRF) patients undergoing continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) are immunocompromised and exhibit abnormal circulating polymorphonuclear leucocyte (PMN) function, including reduced phagocytosis and intracellular killing. Six uraemic patients on CAPD were each given 300 micro g granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) every day for 5 d and PMN function tests were performed daily. By day 5 of the study CD11b expression was significantly decreased in response to N-formylmethionylleucylphenylalanine (fMLP) and opsonized Staphylococcus epidermidis stimulation, and expression of L-selectin (CD62L) was significantly decreased in response to opsonized Staphylococcus epidermidis stimulation. Further, superoxide anion production and Fc gamma RI (CD64) expression were found to be significantly increased and Fc gamma RIII (CD16) expression was lowered. Circulating white cell and PMN counts were significantly elevated in response to treatment. Administration of G-CSF did not appear to have corrected the abnormalities in phagocytosis and intracellular killing. This study suggests that G-CSF does no harm to ESRF patients and influences uraemic PMN function in a manner that is comparable to its effects on PMN in non-uraemic subjects.