A striking difference in radiosensitivity was noted between C3H/He (H-2k) and C57BL/6J (H-2b) strain mice when assessed by primary anti-SRBC PFC response of intact animals and primary cell-mediated lympholysis (CML) response of spleen cells to allogeneic cells in vitro, the C3H strain being more radioresistant. On the other hand, when C3H and B6 mice were exposed to 6.62 to 10.40 grays (Gy) of x-rays and then were transplanted with 2 X 10(6) bone marrow cells from B6C3F1 (H-2b/k) donor mice within 3 hr or at 24 hr after radiation exposure, the early mortality caused by residual host-vs-graft (HVG) reaction was much higher when C3H mice were used as recipients. Furthermore, the proportion of surviving animals manifesting host-type lymphohemopoiesis, i.e., host-type revertants, was much higher in B6C3F1 to C3H than in B6C3F1 to B6 combination. Spleen cells from such host-type revertants manifested strong anti-donor reactivity when assessed by mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) and/or CML in vitro. Increase of radiation doses to the recipients to 10.40 Gy resulted in 100% survival and 100% donor-type lymphohemopoiesis in both groups of chimeras. These results indicate strongly that a genetic difference in radiosensitivity of immune system of the recipients can greatly influence the magnitude of residual HVG reactions observed in hybrid to parental strain bone marrow transplantation in mice.