The trophoblast has a significant role in regulation of immune reactions at the materno-fetal interface by producing biologically active substances. In our previous studies five fractions with immunomodulatory activities were isolated by gel chromatography from trophoblast of pig placentas. To confirm the immunomodulatory effect of these trophoblast fractions on allogeneic in vivo systems and to obtain more evidence for the relevance of their activity on the maternofetal interface, their effect was studied on graft-versus-host reaction (GVHR). To assess the GVHR, the primary and secondary popliteal lymph nodes assay was used in mice. In the primary GVHR, 100 microg protein of Fraction 2-5, mixed with 5 x 10(6) allogeneic spleen cells (C57BL/6), were injected into one of the foot pads of recipient (BALB/c) mice. The secondary GVHR was induced in F1 (BALB/c x C57BL/6) mice by injection of spleen cells of BALB/c mice intraperitoneally preimmunized with allogeneic cells. The GVHR was measured by the weight of lymph nodes and by the lymphocyte proliferation. Flow cytometric analyses of the cells in the nodes with GVHR and under the influence of Fraction 4 or 5 were performed using monoclonal antibodies. In the primary GVHR, Fraction 4 or 5, injected simultaneously with allogeneic spleen cells, significantly suppressed the lymph nodes reactivity. Fractions 4 and 5 inhibited the ability of the spleen cells of mice intraperitoneally preimmunized with allogeneic cells to induce secondary GVHR in F1 mice. The Fraction 2 and 3 had no effect on GVHR. The results revealed that a group of proteins with Mr 37-7 kDa, isolated from trophoblast of pig placenta, strongly suppressed popliteal lymph node reactivity in the primary and secondary GVHR. The data provide convincing evidence for these fractions in vivo activity, for their effect across the species barrier and suggest the relevance of the same reactions on the materno-fetal interface.