When A strain mice are placed in parabiotic union with (A x C57Bl/1)F1 hybrid partners, the parental strain partners are polycythemic and the hybrids anemic from the 5th through the 16th parabiosis days. All hybrids develop clinical intoxication between the 7th and the 12th days, and no pairs survive to 1 month.
Long-term survival of parabiotic pairs can be achieved if lethally irradiated or specifically tolerant parental strain mice are united to hybrid partners. Production of tolerance by either of these methods results in elimination of anemia-polycythemia by the 12th parabiosis day and prevents intoxication in the hybrid partners.
Preimmunization of the parental strain partners against the C57Bl/1 component of the hybrid leads to a considerable intensification of day 5 anemia-polycythemia. Intoxication develops in the hybrid partners between the 4th and the 6th days after union. It is concluded that anemia is primarily responsible for the syndrome of clinical intoxication.
Early anemia-polycythemia on day 5 does not depend upon an immunological mechanism, but the late anemia-polycythemia appearing between days 12 and 16 is a function of the ability of the parental strain mouse to react immunologically against its hybrid partner.
When neonatally thymectomized A strain mice are joined to hybrid partners, anemia-polycythemia is sustained through the 16th day and the hybrid partners develop clinical intoxication. On the other hand, when both partners are neonatally thymectomized, late anemia-polycythemia is considerably reduced, and the hybrid partners apparently do not develop clinical intoxication. It is concluded that normal hybrid mice are capable of reconstituting the immunological capacity of their thymectomized partners, whereas thymectomized hybrid mice do not have this restorative capacity.
These findings are discussed in terms of their possible application to the problem of the induction of immunological tolerance in adult mice by the parabiosis procedure.