A high-titer, recombinant retroviral vector produced in psi 2 packaging cells has been used to introduce the murine interleukin-3 (IL-3) gene into mouse hematopoietic cells. Integration and expression of the IL-3 gene was observed in spleen foci from which could be derived factor-independent, continuously proliferating cell lines. Irradiated or genetically anemic W/Wv recipients of infected hematopoietic cells developed a myeloproliferative syndrome characterized by a marked elevation in leukocyte count, bone marrow hyperplasia, and enlargement of the liver and spleen. The syndrome reflected proliferation of one or more stem cell clones, the progeny of which were capable of repopulating secondary recipients. One animal developed the syndrome primarily by a paracrine mechanism. Endogenous IL-3 production caused amplification of hematopoietic cells but did not appear to alter the maturational or self-renewal potential of these cells.