Simultaneous blockade of the CD28 and CD40 T cell costimulatory pathways has been shown to effectively promote skin allograft survival in mice. Furthermore, blockade of one or both of these pathways has played a central role in the development of strategies to induce mixed hematopoietic chimerism and allospecific tolerance. It has recently been observed that the beneficial effects of CD40 blockade and donor splenocytes in prolonging skin graft survival can be abrogated by some viral infections, including lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV). In this study, we show that LCMV infection prevents prolonged allograft survival following CD28/CD40 combined blockade. We further show that LCMV prevents the induction of allospecific tolerance and mixed hematopoietic chimerism, while delay of infection for 3-4 wk posttransplant has no effect on tolerance induction. Because of reports of anti-H-2d activity following LCMV infection, we assayed the ability of LCMV-specific T cells to respond to alloantigen at a single cell level. Although we confirm that LCMV infection induces the generation of alloreactive cells, we also demonstrate that LCMV-specific T cells do not divide in response to alloantigen. The alloresponse suppressed by costimulation blockade is restored by LCMV infection and correlates with increased dendritic cell maturation. We hypothesize that the costimulation blockade-resistant rejection mediated by LCMV could be partly attributable to the up-regulation of alternative costimulatory pathways subsequent to LCMV-induced dendritic cell maturation.