We examined the immune approaches that C57BI/6 and BALB/c mice take when treated to accept cardiac allografts. C57BI/6 mice accept DBA/2 cardiac allografts when treated with gallium nitrate (GN) or anti-CD40L mAb (MR1). These allograft acceptor mice fail to mount donor-reactive delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses, and develop a donor-induced immunoregulatory mechanism that inhibits DTH responses. In contrast, BALB/c mice accept C57BI/6 cardiac allografts when treated with MR1 but not with GN. These allograft acceptor mice display modest donor-reactive DTH responses, and do not develop donor-induced immune regulation of DTH responses. Real-time PCR analysis of rejecting graft tissues demonstrated no strain-related skewing in the production of cytokines mRNAs. In related studies, C57BI/6 recipients of cytokine and alloantigen educated syngeneic peritoneal exudate cells (PECs) failed to mount DTH responses to the alloantigens unless neutralizing antibodies to transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-p were present at the DTH site demonstrating regulation of cell-mediated alloimmune responses. In contrast, BALB/c recipients of cytokine-and alloantigen-educated PECs expressed strong DTH responses to alloantigens demonstrating a lack of regulated alloimmunity. In conclusion, C57BI/6 mice respond to immunosuppression by accepting cardiac allografts and generating TGF-beta-related regulation of donor-reactive T cell responses, unlike BALB/c mice that do not generate these regulatory responses yet still can accept cardiac allografts.