Bone marrow (BM) and skin allografts from C57BL/Ka (H-2b/b) mice were transplanted to BALB/c (H-2d/d) recipients treated with total lymphoid irradiation (TLI), whole-body irradiation (WBI), or fractionated thymic irradiation TLI prolonged skin allograft survival about five times as long as that in untreated controls, and allowed for permanent engraftment of BM cells in approximately equal to 90% of recipients. None of the BM recipients showed clinical signs of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) (diarrhea, weight loss, hunched back, etc.). On the other hand, recipients given WBI and allogeneic BM cells developed severe clinical GVHD. The majority of the latter recipients died within 12 days after BM transplantation, and 95% died within 61 days. Although TLI protected BALB/c mice against GVHD induced by BM cells, all recipients given TLI and allogeneic spleen cells developed lethal GVHD. Thymic irradiation alone marginally prolonged skin allograft survival, and did not allow for allogeneic BM engraftment. These results suggest that TLI may be a useful regimen in clinical BM transplantation, since this form of radiotherapy is used extensively in humans and has few severe side effects.

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