Migration of hemopoietic stem cells via the blood to sites of stem cell need is a principle that becomes established during the embryonic development of hemopoiesis and can be observed in the adult whenever bone marrow transplantations are being performed. The regular presence of stem cells in the peripheral blood lends itself to the study of their collection, storage, and use for transfusion purposes in cases of bone marrow failure. Both in dog and in man, granulocyte-macrophage progenitor cells (CFU-C) can be collected by leukapheresis from the blood in large quantities, particularly if the yield is increased by the administration of mobilizing agents such as dextran sulfate, and appear to be an indicator for the presence of stem cells. For collection and storage, a closed plastic bag system has been developed that allows the safe handling of the cells. The loss of CFU-C from freezing and thawing with DMSO as a cryoprotective agent is only 10%-20%. If frozen and thawed mononuclear leukocytes are transfused into 1200 rad whole-body X-irradiated autologous or allogeneic recipient dogs, a hemopoietic take is observed when 0.2 X 10(5) CFU-C are present among the mononuclear leukocytes (MNC). Graft-versus-host disease can be avoided in the allogeneic situation when a purified CFU-C rich cell fraction is being transfused. In man collection and storage of MNC including CFU-C is feasible and may eventually become a therapeutic tool.