Using in vitro clonal culture assays, we investigated the effects of PSK, a protein-bound polysaccharide derived from the cultured mycelium of CM101, Coriolus versicolor (Fr.) Quél in Basidiomycetes, on human hemopoietic progenitors. PSK alone did not stimulate colony formation by human bone marrow progenitors. Although 1-100 micrograms/ml of PSK had no effects on colony formation stimulated by erythropoietin and medium conditioned by phytohemagglutinin-stimulated leukocytes, more than 1 mg/ml of PSK inhibited all types of colony formation. In contrast, medium conditioned by PSK-stimulated leukocytes significantly stimulated formation of various types of colonies including erythroid bursts, granulocyte and/or macrophage colonies, eosinophil colonies, megakaryocyte colonies and mixed hemopoietic colonies. It is speculated that administration of the optimal dose of PSK can reduce the hematological suppression of antitumor drugs.