Using C57BL/6 female mice raised under pathogen-free conditions, it was confirmed that splenectomy prior to grafting promotes brisk rejection of male skin isografts. These mice were then used to examine the influence infection with Sendai virus might have on this phenomenon. It was found that Sendai virus infection of skin graft donors renders the grafts prepared therefrom highly susceptible to the rejection process. Sendai virus infection of female recipients of male isografts had a trivial effect on the ability of these females to reject their test grafts. However, if Sendai-infected females had their spleens removed 7 days before grafting, they exhibited a markedly accelerated rejection process. These studies indicate that viral epizootics within a murine colony, especially if unsuspected, may confuse the accurate interpretation of experimental skin grafting data.
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