Abstract: A decline in plasma concentrations of both growth hormone and IGF-I occurs during aging of humans and rodents, and this is accompanied by involution of the thymus gland. Exogenous growth hormone induces the synthesis of IGF-I, which acts on bone marrow-derived hematopoietic progenitors of the myeloid and lymphoid lineages to promote their replication and survival. The increase in survival of these cells is caused by the ability of IGF-I to inhibit their apopotic death. In contrast to the multipotential colony-stimulating-factor IL-3, inhibition of apoptosis by IGF-I requires the activation of the critical intracellular effector PI 3-kinase. These data establish that hematopoietic progenitors can use more than one intracellular signaling pathway in order to maintain their survival. The data also extend the original hypothesis 48 that IGF-I shares with the colony-stimulating factors the properties of promoting DNA synthesis and inhibiting programmed cell death. Collectively, these data establish that hematopoietic progenitor cells are important targets for IGF-I, and this is likely to be important in understanding thymic aging.