Single injection of recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (rhG-CSF) immediately induced a decrease in the number of circulating neutrophils in rats. This neutropenia occurred 10 minutes after the injection but disappeared 40 minutes after injection. This transient neutropenia was dose-dependently induced by rhG-CSF and also induced by repeated injections. We studied the kinetics of circulating neutrophils in transient neutropenia. rhG-CSF markedly decreased the number of 3H-diisopropylfluorophosphate (3H-DFP) labeled neutrophils in the circulation 10 minutes after injection but the labeled neutrophils recovered to near the control level 40 minutes after the injection. These results indicate that the neutrophil margination accounts for the neutropenia and the marginated neutrophils return to the circulation.