The successful establishment of tolerance toward pig tissues in primates through hematopoietic progenitor cell engraftment is restricted by the rapid disappearance of these cells in the recipient following infusion. We developed and tested the hypothesis that phagocytes of the reticuloendothelial system are responsible for the rapid clearance of infused pig hematopoietic cells using a mouse model. Mice received non-myeloablative conditioning and, on various days, were injected with medronate-encapsulated liposomes (M-L) or control blank liposomes, followed by the intravenous infusion of miniature swine hematopoietic cells. M-L were well-tolerated in mice (n = 100) at levels that deplete mononuclear phagocytes. Depletion of mononuclear phagocytes in normal Ba1b/c mice as well as in severe combined immune deficient mice increased the accumulation of pig hematopoietic cells in the bone marrow (BM) by 10-fold when measured 24 h after the infusion of the cells. Colony-forming unit analysis showed an increased accumulation of pig hematopoietic progenitors in the BM of mice that were infused with medronateliposomes. We conclude that depletion of mononuclear phagocytes by M-L has the potential to lower the barrier to the establishment of mixed chimerism and tolerance induction in xenotransplantation.