The influence of cholera toxin (CT), and thus probably of cyclic AMP, on the capacity of parental lymphoid cells to elicit a graft-versus-host reaction (GVHR) was studied. Toxin-treated DBA/1 mice were used as cell donors and untreated DBA/1xC57B1/ 6 F1 hybrid mice as recipients, and the GVHR reactivity of the transferred cells was estimated by their ability to induce spleen enlargement or stimulation of antibody formation (‘allogenic effect’) in the recipients. Spleen cells from donors intravenously injected with 1 μ g CT 1–3 days earlier, gave a significantly stronger GVHR than did spleen cells of untreated mice. Choleragenoid, a toxin analog devoid of the toxin’s ability to activate plasma membrane adenylate cyclase even though it binds efficiently to cells, had no effect on the GVHR-inducing capacity of the spleen cells. The enhanced GVHR by spleen cells from toxin-treated DBA/1 animals was reduced to the normal level when the donor cells were transferred along with lymphoid cells from untreated animals of the same strain. Spleen was the most powerful source of the suppressive influence. No evidence for a redistribution of suppressor cells following administration of CT was found. Spleen cells from mice syngeneic with the recipients had no suppressive effect. The results suggest that parenterally administered CT, directly or indirectly, can inhibit a cell population in spleen which normally exerts an antigen-specific suppressive regulatory influence on the development of GVHR.

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