Ultraviolet (UV)-B irradiation abolishes lymphocyte functions (the ability to respond and to stimulate) in mixed lymphocyte culture (MLC). This effect may have practical application in the prevention or reduction of transfusion-induced alloimmunization against HLA class I antigens. To study this, platelet concentrates (PCs) were obtained with a cell separator, suspended in autologous plasma in a final volume of 400 mL, and transferred into a large (22 times 30 cm) cell culture bag. This plastic showed a good transmittance of UV-B rays at 310 nm (54%). PCs were placed between two quartz plates (surface of irradiation = 25 times 37 cm), and the two sides were irradiated simultaneously. Energy delivered to the surface of the plastic bag was automatically monitored. The ability to respond (in MLC and to phytohemagglutinin) and to stimulate allogeneic lymphocytes was completely abolished with energy of 0.75 J per cm2 (irradiation time less than 3 min). The temperature increase during irradiation was negligible. Platelet aggregation (collagen, adrenalin, ADP, arachidonic acid, ristocetin) was not impaired if UV-B energy was below 3 J per cm2. Recovery and survival of autologous 111in-labeled platelets were studied in four volunteers; no differences were found between UV-B-treated (1.5 J/cm2) platelets and untreated platelets. These results show that a large-scale clinical trial using UV-B-irradiated PCs to prevent HLA alloimmunization is feasible.