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The myelorestorative effects of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), interleukin-la (IL-lα ) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) were studied in F-344 rats which had been treated with cyclophosphamide (CY), carboplatin (CBDCA), or nimustine hydrochloride (ACNU). In CY- or CBDCA-pretreated rats, significantly higher peripheral white blood cell (WBC) count was observed in animals treated with G-CSF and IL-lα, while the platelet (PLT) count was elevated by IL-6 treatment. All of the cytokines had little effect on the hemoglobin (HB) value. Animals treated with ACNU had prolonged myelosuppression. Treatment of these animals with G-CSF and IL-lα significantly enhanced the recovery of HB value as well as WBC count. Higher PLT counts were observed in treated groups, but a statistical difference was not evident. Combination therapy with G-CSF and IL-lα, G-CSF and IL-6, or IL-lα and IL-6 did not have any significant beneficial effects on the peripheral blood cell count in ACNU-pretreated rats over single agent therapy. Conversely, the combination of IL-6 and G-CSF had an unfavorable effect on HB and PLT levels. In rats which received multiple doses of ACNU, G-CSF treatment exhibited a beneficial effect on WBC, HB, and PLT levels, the most prominent on the HB value. These findings suggest that treatment with hematopoietic cytokines may be most beneficial when combined with anticancer drugs which are known to cause prolonged myelosuppression.