The binding of CD2, present on T cells, to its counterreceptor CD48 facilitates adhesion, signaling, alloantigen-induced cytokine production, and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses. Because these T-cell functions have been implicated in graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) pathogenesis, we have analyzed the effects of the CD2:CD48 pathway on GVHD mediated by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells infused into sublethally irradiated recipients. CD4+ T-cell-mediated, and to a lesser extent, CD8+ T-cell-mediated GVHD was inhibited by αCD2+ 48 monoclonal antibody (MoAb) infusion. To assess the effects of combined MoAb infusion on alloengraftment, two different alloengraftment bone marrow transplantation (BMT) models were used. In both, MoAb infusion markedly inhibited alloengraftment and hematopoietic recovery post-BMT. To determine if the adverse effects on lymphohematopoiesis in the allogeneic BMT recipients were caused by an immune or nonimmune mechanism, studies were performed in congenic BMT recipients to preclude an immune mechanism as the cause for delayed recovery post-BMT. MoAb infusion resulted in impaired lymphohematopoietic recovery in congenic BMT recipients and markedly reduced day 12 colony-forming unit-spleen formation in syngeneic BMT recipients, consistent with a nonimmune mediated mechanism. Because the spleen is a site of early hematopoietic recovery post-BMT, studies were performed using adult splenectomized syngeneic BMT recipients. MoAb infusion delayed recovery in both nonsplenectomized and splenectomized recipients post-BMT, indicating that the delayed hematopoietic recovery was not the consequence of an abnormal homing pattern of hematopoietic progenitors to the spleen early post-BMT. αCD48 MoAb was necessary and sufficient for the inhibition of GVHD lethality and delayed lymphohematopoietic effects of the combined MoAb regimen. αCD48 MoAb was found to induce a profound modulation of CD48 antigen expression on BM cells, suggesting that the CD48 antigen may have an important function in hematopoiesis in the BM compartment. Taken together, these data provide evidence that the CD48 antigen plays a critical role in regulating hematopoiesis in post-BMT.