The transmission of a lymphomagenic agent(s) from the bone marrow of irradiated mice to thymic target cells has been demonstrated by: (a) the induction of T cell lymphomas in nonirradiated thymic grafts implanted in irradiated, Thy-l-congenic mice, (b) the induction of T cell lymphomas of host origin in mice infused with bone marrow from irradiated, Thy-l-congenic donors. The latter procedure also yields an appreciable number of pre-B cell lymphomas of uncertain origin. The results confirm Kaplan's theory that radiation induces thymic lymphomas in mice by an indirect mechanism. However, the previously described radiation leukemia virus is clearly not involved in the majority of transferred lymphomas. We propose that the mediating agent in radiation lymphomagenesis is a novel, transmissible agent induced in the bone marrow, but exerting its transforming activity on cells in the thymus. The nature and mode of action of the agent are under investigation.

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