We investigated whether the stem cell that reconstitutes total erythropoiesis of a WBB6F1-W/Wv mouse differentiates into lymphoid lineage. The electrophoretic pattern of hemoglobin was used as a marker of the reconstitution; 3-phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK), an X chromosome- linked enzyme was used as a tool for estimating clonality. We injected 10(5) bone marrow cells of 5-FU treated C57BL/6-Pgk-1b/Pgk-1a female mice, in which each stem cell had either A-type PGK or B-type PGK due to random inactivation of one of two X chromosomes, into genetically anemic (WB x C57BL/6)F1-W/Wv (hereafter WBB6F1-W/Wv) mice that contained only B-type PGK. The recipient WBB6F1-W/Wv mice, in which erythropoiesis was reconstituted with donor cells for a long term, were killed and the PGK patterns of bone marrows, thymus, lymph nodes, and Peyer's patches were examined. A considerable amount of A-type PGK was detected in the lymphoid organs of the WBB6F1-W/Wv mice in which erythrocytes showed only A-type PGK when killed. In contrast, A-type PGK was scarcely detectable in the lymphoid organs of the WBB6F1-W/Wv mice in which erythrocytes showed only B-type PGK when killed. The present results suggest that the hematopoietic stem cells estimated by the erythropoiesis reconstituting assay differentiate into lymphoid lineage and that the long-term erythropoiesis reconstitution assay is useful for detecting the true primitive hematopoietic stem cells.