An in vitro skin explant model has been used to predict the severity of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in 34 HLA-identical bone marrow transplant recipients (correlation coefficient 0.6 p < 0.001). Supernatants from HLA-matched patient/donor mixed lymphocyte cultures (MLCs) were analysed for levels of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) and interferon gamma (IFN gamma). High levels of both cytokines correlated with the development of GVHD grades II or above (p < 0.05). The supernatants were also tested for induction of class II MHC antigen expression on third party skin and results correlated with clinical outcome in 17 of 22 cases (77%) (correlation coefficient 0.65, p < 0.001). The results suggest that measurement of both TNF alpha and IFN gamma in HLA-matched MLC supernatants is of predictive value and that the skin explant model is a useful model for studying the aetiology of GVHD in humans.