When chimeric A strain mice tolerant of (A x C57BL/1)F1 hybrid skin grafts are injected with spleen cells from normal A donors the recipients develop weight loss, clinical evidence of runting, and death in some animals. Similar recipients injected with spleen cells from A strain donors immunized against C57BL/1 tissue show a more rapid onset of the runting process and increased mortality. Runting in. these experiments therefore results from an immune attack by the injected A strain lymphoid cells against the (A x C57BL/1)F1 hybrid tissue harbored by the chimeric recipients. Since the hybrid tissues of the chimeric recipients were derived from spleen cell populations we conclude that the immunologic rejection of lymphoid and hematopoietic tissue is sufficient to cause the runting syndrome.
C3H mice tolerant of A strain skin grafts because of the prior injection of viable or disrupted A strain spleen material were given 400 r of x-irradiation and an injection of C3H spleen cells. Only the chimeric C3H mice harboring viable A strain cells developed weight loss and clinical evidence of disease, showing again that runting occurs only when an attack can be made against viable lymphoid and hematopoietic tissue.
Normal A strain mice injected intravenously with 850 million (A x C57BL/1)F1 hybrid spleen cells reject hybrid skin grafts and do not develop runting, whereas the rejection of similar hybrid tissue present in chimeric A strain mice results in runting. It is concluded that runting will occur only when the immunologic attack is directed against lymphoid and hematopoietic tissue which has become established within host tissues. The possibility that runting may result from hypersensitivity reactions occurring in the lymphoid tissues is discussed.