Intratracheal injection of Balb/cByJ mice with 10(4) Blastomyces dermatitidis conida produces chronic pulmonary and disseminated blastomycosis characterized by pyogranulomatous inflammation. To study the evolution of the pulmonary infection, mice were killed at varying intervals after inoculation, their lungs cultured and examined histologically. Nodular intraalveolar infiltrates of macrophages (M phi) were seen on Day 1 with occasional admixed polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN). Phagocytized yeast forms within M phi were evident by Day 5. By Day 28 pyogranulomas, which developed first as central microabscesses associated with a peripheral zone of M phi and giant cells containing internalized yeast, were a prominent feature of the infection. Lymphocytic and plasmacytic infiltrates, accumulating next to granulomas, formed the major peripheral component of the granuloma by Day 35. Formation of pyogranulomas was coincident with the host's failure to contain fungal growth measured by the sharp rise in colony-forming units recovered from lungs. Antibody against B. dermatitidis was first detected at Day 35 by enzyme immunoassay, but not until Day 63 by double immunodiffusion. During the 4 wk after inoculation, pulmonary lavage fluid contained > 90% M phi and < 3% PMN. On day 28, PMN rose to 17%, reaching 40% on Day 42. These data contribute to our knowledge of this model and help form the basis for investigations into the roles of fungal pathogenic and host defense mechanisms in blastomycosis.