The number of bone marrow-derived fibroblastoid colony-forming cells (CFU-F) and the production of colony-stimulating activity (CSA) by bone marrow stromal cells were studied in 71 patients with myeloproliferative disorders (MPD). The numbers of CFU-F in chronic-phase chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), polycythemia vera (PV) and essential thrombocythemia (ET) were not different from those in normal subjects. However, the number of CFU-F in acute-phase CML was markedly decreased. Bone marrow adipocyte colony-forming capacity (adipo-CFC), which was previously shown to reflect both the number of pre-adipocytes and the stromal cell function in vivo, was increased in patients with chronic-phase CML, PV and ET, but was absent in acute-phase CML patients. The production of CSA by marrow stromal cells of MPD patients, however, was not different from that of normal subjects. These results suggest that the characteristics of marrow stromal and its precursor cells of chronic-phase MPD patients were not different from those of normal subjects, however, they became changed in acute-phase CML patients.