The anomalous survival of neonatal C3H skin grafts on CBA mice is correlated with the emigration of passenger leukocytes from the graft vasculature. Thus, newborn homografts whose leukocyte populations are eliminated by X-irradiation or by transient sojourn on an intermediate adult C3H host, do not display prolonged survival. Moreover, the continued presence of the newborn grafts is not requisite to the maintenance of the unresponsive state, an observation consonant with the demonstration that CBA mice bearing long-term neonatal C3H skin grafts are leukocyte chimeras.
In contrast, neonatal male C57 skin grafts may persist on C57 females after heavy irradiation of the donor, or after passage on an intermediate adult male host. In addition, tolerance is broken by removal of long-persistant newborn grafts from hitherto unresponsive females, and chimerism is not detectable in female C57 mice tolerant of infant male isografts.
Finally, leukocytes of neonatal C3H origin, inoculated subcutaneously into CBA males, may occasionally render these animals unresponsive to subsequent adult C3H skin homografts, whereas those taken from infant C57 males usually sensitize their adult female hosts. Thus, passenger leukocytes are implicated in the extended survival of C3H neonatal homografts on CBA recipients, but not in the persistence of H-Y-incompatible neonatal skin isografts on C57 females.