A progressive decrease of the restoring effectivity of syngeneic or allogeneic thymus and functional thymoma grafts was observed when the treatment of neonatally thymectomized mice was delayed. Early treatment (5–20 days postthymectomy) was effective, while the number of restored animals was markedly decreased after late treatment (30–50 days postthymectomy). Similar results were obtained with subcutaneous or intraperitoneal thymus grafts and with thymus grafts within cell-impenetrable diffusion chambers. After the onset of the postthymectomy-wasting syndrome the only successful treatment was the implantation of multiple thymus grafts. On the other hand, single thymus grafts, thymoma grafts, or thymus or thymoma within diffusion chambers were ineffective. When spleen cells from 5-day old or 45-day old neonatally thymectomized animals were given in association with thymoma grafts, only the cells derived from the 5-day old thymectomized mice proved effective in restoring wasted thymectomized hosts. These results suggest that a population of cells sensitive to the action of the thymus decreases progressively with time in the absence of thymic function.

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