CD34+ cells devoid of detectable mature and immature T and B lymphocytes, expressing the CD2, CD10, and CD20 antigens, were isolated from marrows of three pairs of sex-mismatched, mixed lymphocyte culture (MLC) nonreactive, sibling baboons. Reciprocal transplants were performed between members of each pair, using the sex chromosomes, identified by standard cytogenetic techniques, as markers of the transplanted cells. Five animals from these three pairs were transplanted with 0.6 to 2.1 x 10(6)/kg of isolated cryopreserved and/or fresh isolated cells that were greater than 95% to 97% CD34+. Before transplantation, animals were treated with either single (920 or 1,020 cGy) or split (700 cGy x 2) dose total body irradiation. All animals engrafted with donor cells, as demonstrated by cytogenetic analysis of bone marrow metaphase cells 4 weeks after transplantation, with days to white blood cell count (WBC) greater than 500 being 19 +/- 2, to WBC greater than 1,000 23 +/- 2, to absolute neutrophil count greater than 500 24 +/- 3, and to platelets greater than 20,000 30 +/- 7. Three animals died of infectious-related complications at 34, 42, and 109 days after transplantation with evidence of host and donor cells (mixed chimerism) in marrow. Two animals remain alive and healthy more than 545 and 455 days after transplantation with stable mixed chimerism in marrow and blood. For these two animals, cytogenetic analysis of granulocyte/macrophage and erythroid colonies derived from marrow precursors between weeks 25 and 42 posttransplant showed evidence of mixed chimerism. Cytogenetic studies of CD2+ T cells and CD20+ B cells isolated from blood of these two animals between weeks 21 and 51 posttransplant showed the presence of mixed chimerism in both lymphocyte populations. Thus, isolated allogeneic CD34+ marrow cells devoid of detectable mature and immature T and B lymphocytes can engraft and reconstitute stable long-term myelopoiesis and lymphopoiesis in lethally irradiated baboons. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that CD34+ marrow cells contain pluripotent hematopoietic stem cells capable of fully reconstituting lymphohematopoiesis in the transplanted host.