In vitro treatment of A/J mouse bone marrow with anti-Thy 1.2 serum and guinea pig complement (GPC) eliminated its ability to induce graft-vs-host (GVH) mortality in lethally irradiated C57BL/6J × A/J F1 (BAF1) mice. The anti-Thy 1.2 and GPC treatment of A/J marrow significantly reduced spleen cell activation by phytohemagglutinin (PHA) but not lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation in A/J mice assayed 6 weeks after lethal irradiation and reconstitution with the treated marrow. However, the anti-Thy 1.2 treatment of A/J bone marrow did not impair the ability of the lethally irradiated, reconstituted, syngeneic mice to reject C57BL/6J skin grafts. We conclude that lymphocytes in bone marrow which are not susceptible to inactivation by anti-Thy 1.2 mediate allograft reactions and/or that radioresistant cells which persist in the recipient initiate rejection of allogeneic skin grafts.

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This work was supported in part, by United States Public Health Service Grants HL17417 and HL16476 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and CA17467 from the National Cancer Institute, and the Manning Foundation. A preliminary report of this work was presented at the 1977 Annual Meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

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