Human cyclic neutropenia occurs in children and adults. Adult-onset cyclic neutropenia is an acquired disease characterized by increased numbers of large granular lymphocytes (LGL), in contrast to childhood-onset cyclic neutropenia in which LGL counts are normal. We investigated the clonality of lymphocytes in these two groups of patients by assessing the rearrangement status of the T cell receptor beta chain gene. Patients with adult-onset cyclic neutropenia showed clonal rearrangement of the T beta gene whereas the children did not. Since LGL are known to have multiple regulatory effects on normal hematopoiesis, the finding of a clonal proliferation of this lymphocyte population implicates these cells in the pathogenesis of cyclic neutropenia.