The effect of CD154 blockade and macrophage depletion or inhibition on baboon humoral and cellular immune responses to pig antigens was studied in a pig-to-baboon peripheral blood mobilized progenitor cell (PBPC) transplantation model aimed at inducing tolerance. We infused pig PBPCs in baboons pretreated with a nonmyeloablative regimen along with murine antihuman CD154 monoclonal antibody (mAb) and macrophage-depleting or -inhibiting agents. Group 1 baboons (n=2) underwent a nonmyeloablative regimen and immunoadsorption of anti-Galα1,3Gal (Gal) antibody (Ab) before intravenous infusion of high doses (1.3-4.6×10 10cells/kg) of PBPCs. In group 2 (n=5), cyclosporine was replaced by 8 doses of anti-CD154 mAb over 14 days. Group 3 (n=3) received the group 2 regimen plus medronate liposomes (n=2) or commercially available human intravenous immunoglobulin G depleted of anti-Gal Ab (n=1) to deplete/inhibit recipient macrophages. Group 1 developed sensitization to Gal and also developed new Ab to non-Gal porcine antigens within 10 to 20 days. In group 2, no sensitization to Gal or non-Gal determinants was seen, but Gal-reactive antibodies did return to their preleukocyte transplantation levels. CD154 blockade, therefore, induced humoral unresponsiveness to pig cells. In group 3, sensitization to Gal was seen in all three baboons at 20 days, and Abs against new porcine determinants developed in one baboon. The depletion or inhibition of host macrophages, therefore, prevented the induction of humoral unresponsiveness by CD154 blockade. These results suggest that CD154 blockade induces humoral unresponsiveness by a mechanism that involves the indirect pathway of antigen presentation. In vitro investigation of baboon anti-pig mixed lymphocyte reaction confirmed that only the indirect pathway is efficiently blocked by anti-CD154 mAb. The mechanism in which blockade of the CD40-CD154 pathway induces its effect remains to be determined, but it could involve the generation of regulatory cells capable of suppressing the direct pathway.