If immunologically competent cells are injected into infant or adult animals under conditions that exempt the grafted cells from rejection and at the same time result in their being confronted by strong alien host transplantation isoantigens, graftversus-host reactions occur. These are responsible for the so-called homologous or transplantation diseases. An exfoliative dermatitis and other abnormalities of the skin are frequently the first overt symptoms of these diseases.
Following the intracutaneous injection of adult (MHA X CB)F1 hybrid hamsters with suspensions of parental strain lymphoid cells, local inflammatory reactions develop. About a week later there is generalized erythroderma and a positive Nikolsky sign involving the entire integument. Affected animals usually succumb to this acute homologous disease within two or three weeks of inoculation.
An account is presented of these skin lesions, which closely resemble those of the clinical syndrome toxic epidermal necrolysis, and of an experimental analysis of their etiology.