We have analyzed four kinds of T cells for rearrangement and expression of immunoglobulin genes. These cells include: (a) whole thymus; (b) WEHI-22, a T-cell lymphoma; (c) HT-1, an major histocompatibility complex-restricted T helper line; and (d) CTLLi6, an H-2 alloreactive killer cell line. None of the B-cell joining and constant gene segments are rearranged in the T cells. The monoclonal cells do not express any C kappa, C lambda, Cmu or C alpha RNA species. Small amounts of C kappa, C alpha, and Cmu sequences are present in RNA prepared from the thymus, although the significance of this RNA for T-cell antigen receptor synthesis is uncertain. The data support the hypothesis that expression of B-cell joining and C gene segments is unnecessary for T-cell helper and T-cell killer activity.

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