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The serum G-CSF levels of eight patients with severe congenital neutropenia (SCN) were found to be significantly higher than those of 22 patients with chronic benign neutropenia (CBN). The relative number of cells expressing the G-CSF receptor in light density bone marrow cells (LDBMC) was lower in patients with SCN than in patients with CBN or in normal subjects. When recombinant human G-CSF was incubated with LDBMC, G-CSF levels were decreased by LDBMC from normal subjects and CBN patients, but not by those from SCN patients. Serum G-CSF concentrations, which are affected by mature neutrophils, may also be modulated by myeloid precursor cells in the bone marrow.