Dogs given 920 cGy of total body irradiation (TBI) followed by autologous marrow infusion uniformly achieve sustained hematopoietic reconstitution. We have previously shown that administration of the anti-MHC class II monoclonal antibody (MoAb) H81.98.21 (IgG2a) at 0.6 mg/kg/d immediately after transplantation results in delayed graft failure. A second noncrossblocking anti-MHC class II MoAb, B1F6, of the same isotype, at the same dose, did not interfere with sustained engraftment, suggesting that the observed effect was epitope dependent. Although higher concentrations of B1F6 were required, in the present study both MoAbs interfered with the propagation of long-term marrow cultures. When MoAb B1F6 was given in vivo at 1.2 mg/kg/d, ie, twice the dose used previously, dogs so treated also developed delayed marrow graft failure. Marrow failure with either MoAb involved myeloid, erythroid, and megakaryocytic lineages. Administration of recombinant canine c-kit ligand/stem cell factor (SCF) for 7 or 21 days posttransplant resulted in reversal of graft failure. Although the short course did induce a broad transient early peak of granulocytes, the longer course of SCF was accompanied by earlier sustained recovery than the short course. In conclusion, therefore, marrow graft failure induced by anti-MHC class II MoAb does not appear to be epitope dependent, involves all hematopoietic lineages, and is overcome by the administration of c-kit ligand.