A graft-vs.-host reaction (GVHR) was induced in young male CAFI and CB6F1 mice by the administration of BALB/cJ spleen cells. A proportion of such mice subsequently developed lymphoreticular rumors. Cell-free extracts (CFEs) prepared from the reticular tissues of CAF1 mice killed at intervals after the induction of the GVHR were tested for their capacity to produce the same tumors in a litter of syngeneic mice inoculated at birth. 12 of 29 (41.4%) such extracts were positive, causing lymphoreticular tumors in one or more littermate recipients. The positive CFEs came from donors killed at all stages of the GVHR, from tumor-bearing mice as well as from non-tumor-bearing mice. However, whereas less than 30% of CFEs from mice killed within 12 mo of GVHR induction were oncogenic, the incidence of oncogenic extracts from mice killed 12–15 mo after GVHR induction rose to 75%. None of the CFEs prepared from nine normal uninjected male CAF1 mice killed between the ages of 8 and 18 mo transmitted tumors to recipients. CFEs prepared from CAF1 mice with the GVHR were tested for infectious murine leukemia virus (MuLV) using the XC assay and also for complement-fixing (CF) group-specific MuLV antigen. Substantial titers of B-tropic MuLV and CF antigen were detected in at least half the extracts from mice killed 11–14 mo after GVHR induction. During the first few months of GVHR induction, MuLV titers were low and CF antigen was absent. Neither infectious MuLV nor CF antigen were detected in CFEs prepared from normal control mice. Serially passed CFEs originating from a CB6F1 GVHR-induced RCN caused similar tumors in successive generations of syngeneic recipient mice. These lymphoreticular tumors were shown to contain infectious MuLV, CF MuLV antigen, and C-type particles. These data together provide evidence that MuLV is activated during the GVHR and that it is responsible for the eventual development of lymphoreticular tumors.

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