A girl with congenital dysgranulopoietic neutropenia (CDN) and her non-neutropenic mother with aphthae (A) were investigated. Apoptosis in lymphocytes and granulocytes of both patients (mother A+) were documented by high annexin and electron microscopic morphology. CD11b/CD18 of the daughter's granulocytes ranged between low to normal while that of the mother changed between very low to high levels through A(-) to A(+) periods. In both patients, CD11b/CD18 on lymphocytes were high; GM-CSF receptor was negative; CD4-/CD8- lymphocytes were high and the leukocytes which showed abnormal cell cycle were stained by senescence associated beta-galactosidase. We think that increased apoptosis and rapid cell senescence of leukocytes underlies the pathophysiology of CDN. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.