We explored the ability of fractionated total body irradiation (TBI) given at a rate of 7 cGy/min from opposing dual 60Co sources at otherwise lethal doses of 450, 600, 700, 800, and 920 cGy to condition dogs for marrow grafts from DLA-identical littermates. Results were compared with those of a previously reported study using single-dose TBI administered under otherwise identical conditions. Fractionated TBI was less immunosuppressive than single-dose TBI, as evidenced by a significantly higher rate of graft rejection (P = .001). Specifically, sustained allogeneic engraftment was observed in only two of 18 (11%) dogs that received 600 to 800 cGy fractionated TBI as compared with 11 of 17 (65%) dogs that received comparable doses of single-dose TBI. Only at 450 cGy (none of the ten dogs studied had sustained engraftment) and at 920 cGy (four of five dogs that received fractionated and 20 of 21 dogs that received single-dose TBI engrafted) were we unable to find differences between the two modes of radiation. Most dogs that rejected their graft survived with autologous recovery (13 of 22 that received fractionated and eight of 12 that received single-dose TBI; P = .49), presumably the result of extended support provided by the transient allogeneic grafts. We conclude that at equivalent doses fractionated TBI is significantly less effective than single-dose TBI to condition DLA-identical littermate dogs for marrow transplantation. These findings have implications for the design of conditioning programs in clinical transplantation, especially when T- cell-depleted marrow grafts are used.

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