Donor-specific tolerance induced by bone marrow transplantation (BMT) would allow organ allografting without chronic immunosuppressive therapy. However, the toxicity of conditioning regimens used to achieve marrow engraftment has precluded the clinical use of BMT for tolerance induction. We have developed a BMT strategy that achieves alloengraftment without toxic or myelosuppressive host conditioning. B6 mice received depleting anti-CD4 and anti-CD8 monoclonal antibodies, local thymic irradiation, and a high-dose (174 x 10(6)) of major histocompatibility (MHC)-mismatched B10.A bone marrow cells (BMCs) divided over days 0 through 4. High levels of donor cells were observed among white blood cells (WBCs) of all lineages. Permanent, multilineage mixed chimerism; donor-specific skin-graft tolerance; and in vitro tolerance were observed in most animals. Large numbers of donor class II(high) cells were detected in thymuses of long-term chimeras, and their presence was associated with intrathymic deletion of donor-reactive host thymocytes. The treatment was not associated with significant myelosuppression, toxicity, or graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Thus, high levels of allogeneic stem-cell engraftment can be achieved without myelosuppressive host conditioning. As stem-cell mobilization and in vitro culture techniques have increased the feasibility of administering high doses of hematopoietic cells to humans, this approach brings hematopoietic cell transplantation closer to clinical use for the induction of central deletional T-cell tolerance.