C.B-17 scid (H-2d) mice are homozygous for the gene that causes severe combined immune deficiency (SCID). These mice have no T or B cell function, yet display normal natural killer (NK) activity. Irradiated SCID mice were challenged with marrow grafts to determine if antibodies are necessary for marrow allograft rejection. SCID mice rejected H-2/Hh-1 allogeneic marrow grafts. Moreover, this rejection capability could be adoptively transferred using SCID marrow as a source of NK progenitors infused into irradiated B6 (H-2b) hosts. We conclude that NK cells can mediate marrow allograft reactivity in the absence of immunoglobulin. It follows that NK cells probably have specific receptors for Hh antigens.

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