The transgenic mice were produced by injecting eggs of B6 and C3H/HeJ mice with the human E mu-myc gene. Preferential development of B lymphomas was observed in the B6 transgenic mice, whereas the C3H/HeJ transgenic mice developed mostly T lymphomas. The phenotypic activation of B lineage cells but not of T lineage cells was detected in the prelymphomatous transgenic mice of both strains. The transgene was similarly expressed in B and T cells of the transgenic mice of both strains. These results suggest that a high incidence of T lymphomas in the C3H/HeJ transgenic mice may not be due to the preferential activation of or the preferential E mu-myc expression in T lymphocytes. When the bone marrow or fetal liver cells from the prelymphomatous transgenic mice of both strains were transferred into irradiated normal C3H/HeJ mice, most of the recipients developed T lymphomas. Moreover, even when irradiated B6 mice received the hematopoietic stem cells from the prelymphomatous B6 transgenic mice, the incidence of T lymphoma increased up to 50%. These findings suggest that B6 and C3H/HeJ mice might provide the environment that supports the development or growth of B and T lymphomas, respectively, and that such an environment could be modified by irradiation of the mice.