Bone marrow-derived precursors colonize the thymus, where they constitute the minor L3T4-Lyt2- subset which can give rise to all thymocyte subpopulations. We show in the present paper that L3T4-Lyt2- population depleted of Ia+, Mac-1+ cells contain pluripotent hemopoietic stem cells (CFU-S) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming cells (GM-CFC). Addition of GM-CSF to the culture medium leads to the production of adherent and nonadherent cells of the macrophage-monocyte lineage. L3T4-Lyt2- cells poorly respond to IL-2 in vitro, but the addition of either rIL-3 or rGM-CSF allows the IL-2 response of L3T4-Lyt2- cells. This response is at least partly mediated by maturation of double-negative cells for L3T4 and Lyt-2 Ag into cells able to produce IL-1.