In this study we used colony forming unit (CFU) assays to demonstrate rapid suppression (within 6. h) of lymphoid (CFU-preB) and myeloid (CFU-GM) progenitor cells in DMBA-treated mice. The duration of these changes were consistent with the blood levels of DMBA and its metabolites that were achieved by either IP or oral DMBA administration. CFU-GM and CFU-preB activities returned to control levels by 2 and 7 days after oral DMBA exposure, respectively, but remained suppressed through 7 days after IP DMBA administration. The continued presence of low levels of DMBA in the bloodstream following IP administration was associated with sustained suppression of CFU-preB, total bone marrow lymphoid cells and peripheral blood lymphocytes. The changes noted above were not observed in Cyp1b1 null mice, demonstrating the need for local DMBA metabolism in the bone marrow by Cyp1b1 to impair bone marrow CFU-preB and CFU-GM. Furthermore, these data provide evidence that myeloid-lineage cells are restored more quickly than lymphoid-lineage cells after DMBA exposure. © 2010.