Ultraviolet B irradiation has been used to pretreat blood and islets to prevent subsequent graft rejection. In this study the optimal dose of UVB irradiation of bone marrow was determined in syngeneic recipients and was subsequently applied to in-vitro treatment of bone marrow allografts. UVB pretreatment of donor bone marrow inoculum led to complete prevention of GVHD in allogeneic rat recipients without major marrow or other toxicity. Long-standing recipients of allogeneic UVB- BM became stable adult chimeras. The recipients of allogeneic BM were populated by donor-type peripheral blood lymphocytes and did not reject host or donor-type heart grafts. The BM allograft recipients were immunocompetent as measured by their ability to normally reject third-party cardiac allografts. We suggest that the prevention of GVHD and induction of stable chimer- ism in adult recipients of allogeneic UVB-BM may be mediated by suppressor mechanisms.
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