It has been reported previously that spleen cells from (SJL x PL) F1 hybrid mice are not tolerant to SJL parental cells as assessed by a one-way MLR. The possibility that the F1 anti-SJL reaction was due to the effect of lymphokines produced by the irradiated SJL T cells in response to I-Eu expressed on the F1 hybrid cells was eliminated since inclusion of anti-I-E mAb was without effect. Cell separations showed the responder cells to be plastic and nylon wool nonadherent Ia- T cells. Separation of the SJL spleen cells showed that the stimulator cells were nonadherent, passed through a nylon wool column, and were Ia-. the F1-anti-SJL MLR was blocked 70 to 90% by inclusion of mAb KJ23a in the culture medium that indicated that the stimulatory cell population was V beta 17a+ T cells. This was confirmed by the use of V beta 17a+ and V beta 17a-T cell clones as stimulators. To determine whether failure to develop tolerance to this T cell subset in F1 hybrid mice might be responsible for the F1-anti-parent MLR, (SJL x PL)F1 mice were treated at birth and 48 h thereafter with anti-I-E mAb for 7 wk. Spleen cells from antibody-treated F1 mice were nonreactive with irradiated SJL parental cells in contrast to spleen cells from control mice which indicated that V beta 17a+ T cells were eliminated by negative selection before the development of tolerance.