• Tolerance;
  • Thymic epithelium;
  • B lymphocyte grafts


Athymic nude mice reconstituted at birth with allogeneic thymic epithelia (TE) from day 10 embryos (E10), show life-long specific tolerance to skin and heart grafts, but eliminate B lymphocytes of the TE donor haplotype, nearly as well as those from a third strain. Previous immunizations with B cells do not alter the state of tolerance to skin grafts, but specifically accelerate elimination of lymphocytes. In contrast, transplantation of E15 allogeneic thymuses already seeded by hematopoietic cells resulted in chimeras tolerant to both skin and B lymphocytes. In vitro reactivities towards stimulator spleen cells of the haplotype of the thymus were observed in both E10 TE and E15 thymus chimeras.

We conclude that induction of full in vivo tolerance to B cells requires hematopoietic cells, while this is not the case for induction of tolerance to skin and heart tissues; furthermore, in vitro reactivity to stimulator spleen cells of the tolerized haplotype is independent of in vivo tolerance.