Alloantigen expression on host antigen-presenting cells (APCs) is essential to initiate graft-versus-host disease (GvHD); therefore, alloantigen expression on host target epithelium is also thought to be essential for tissue damage. We tested this hypothesis in mouse models of GvHD using bone-marrow chimeras in which either major histocompatibility complex class I or class II alloantigen was expressed only on APCs. We found that acute GvHD does not require alloantigen expression on host target epithelium and that neutralization of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1 prevents acute GvHD. These results pertain particularly to CD4-mediated GvHD but also apply, at least in part, to CD8-mediated GvHD. These results challenge current paradigms about the antigen specificity of GvHD effector mechanisms and confirm the central roles of both host APCs and inflammatory cytokines in acute GvHD.