Immune responses have been shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of clinical complications of cortical bone allografts. In an attempt to reduce the immunogenicity of these allografts, we evaluated cortical bone allografts modified by laser perforation and partial demineralization transplanted orthotopically into sheep tibiae. The recipient animals were divided into three groups, of eight animals each, according to the type of cortical allograft that was transplanted: group 1, no treatment (control); group 2, demineralization only; and group 3, laser perforation and partial demineralization. All animals were tissue-typed by biochemical definition of MHC class I molecules, using unidimensional isoelectric focusing and Western blotting. Mismatches of donors and recipients were assessed by testing samples of each donor and recipient pair in parallel and by comparing their individual bands. Donor-specific alloantibodies were detected by a similar technique, using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) format. Negative controls were included in all tests. All grafts were poorly immunogenic, whether they were untreated, processed by partial demineralization, or processed by both laser perforation and partial demineralization. Only two recipient animals showed a transient, antibody-mediated donor-specific immune response. One of these animals had received a control allograft, whereas the other animal had received a laser-perforated and partially demineralized bone allograft. All of the grafts in this study, including control grafts, were stripped of soft tissues and their bone marrow was removed; cellular sources of alloantibody stimulation may have been eliminated by these processes. The results of this study suggest that immune responses to bone allografts may be reduced by removing the bone marrow and adjacent soft tissues. The processing of cortical bone allografts by laser perforation and partial demineralization appeared to have little effect on immune responses.