Rauscher leukemia virus infection induces a radioresistance in SJL/J mouse which is accompanied by increases in spleen cells and spleen CFUs of up to 17 times the normal. The present experiments have been carried out to directly evaluate the radioprotective ability of these spleen cells in relation to normal spleen cells. For this purpose spleen cells from both normal and leukemic mice were transplanted into lethally irradiated normal recipients. The results show that for the first 24 days after irradiation and cell transplant the radioprotective ability of the RLV-infected cells is at least equivalent to the normal. However after this time the survival curve of the recipients of RLV infected cells is adversely modified by the leukemia. Nevertheless, the number of survivors at 30 days is significantly large enough to conclude that the spleen cells of mice with Rauscher leukemia do protect against radiation caused mortality.

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