The classical types of generalized autoimmune disease in man are systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Several murine strains which develop SLE and sometimes RA-like diseases are now available. They should help in the understanding of the etiopathology of SLE and RA. Basically two main therapeutic strategies which use solely irradiation have been tried; one being sublethal whole-body irradiation (WBI) and the other fractionated total lymphoid irradiation (TLI). Other protocols which combine lethal WBI and stem cell transplantation have often been attempted. It was regularly found that the bone marrow transplant (BMT) dictates the immune status of the recipient. This paper reviews the data published about NZB, NZB/W, BXSB and MRL mice in this context.