The relative ability of various precursors to generate functional B cells in vivo was assessed by transferring normal, chromosomally-marked CBA/H-T6T6 cells to irradiated or unirradiated immunodeficient CBA/N mice. Emergence of donor-derived B cells was monitored by means of a B-cell cloning assay (in which CBA/N cells are inactive), and by karyotpic analysis of lymphoid, myeloid, and stem cell metaphases. Grafts of lymph node, spleen, anti-mu surface immunoglobin suppressed bone marrow, sIg+ cell-depleted marrow, normal marrow, fetal liver, and yolk sac suggest: (a) there is little self-renewal of sIg+ B cells in these models; (b) pre-committed cells have extensive proliferative/differentiative potential and at least initially contribute most of the newly-formed B cells; (c) populations or pre-B cells obtained from various sources differ in their regenerative ability; (d) CBA/N mice are deficient in a category of pre-B cells which are found in fetal liver; and (e) selective B-cell chimerism results from grafting of unirradiated CBA/N mice.

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