A murine model of bone marrow (BM) transplantation in which donor (B10.D2) and recipient (BALB/c) mice were major histocompatibility complex (MHC) (H-2d) and Mls-1 identical, but incompatible at multiple non-MHC minor histocompatibility (H) antigens, and at Mls-2,3 was used to examine regeneration of B-cell development during the minor H antigen graft-versus-host reaction (GVHR). Mice that received T-cell- depleted allogeneic BM regained significant pre-B cells (sIg- 14.8+) in their BM. Mice undergoing GVHR after transplantation with allogeneic BM + T cells had less than 2% pre-B cells in their BM at day 7 and only 12% to 14% pre-B cells at days 21 and 28 compared with greater than 20% pre-B cells in the allogeneic controls. After partial recovery, the pre- B cells in the BM of GVH mice again decreased to less than 3% by day 42. This abnormal pattern of pre-B cell development in mice undergoing GVHR was associated with a reduced response to interleukin-7 (IL-7) in vitro. The delay in B-lineage cell reconstitution in mice with GVHR correlated with the expansion of donor V beta 3+ T cells in both the spleen and BM. BM T cells from mice with GVHR as well as isolated V beta 3+ T cells inhibited IL-7 colony-forming units from normal BM in co-culture assays. This inhibition could be reversed with anti- interferon gamma (IFN gamma) antibody. These data suggest that the delay in appearance and the reduction in proportion and number of pre-B cells observed early during the GVH reaction in this model is caused, in part, by the inhibitory actions of IFN gamma derived from donor V beta 3+ T cells on B-lineage cell development.