In this report we describe a variant of the C57BL/6 T lymphoma EL4 (EL4/Mar) which, in contrast to the parental cell line, expresses neither H-2Kb nor beta2-microglobulin (beta2m) but which does express H-2Db detectable by serology and by alloreactive cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). This observation raises the possibility that H-2Db and perhaps other major histocompatibility complex class I molecules are normally not associated with beta2m on the cell surface. In addition, this report is the first to indicated that alloreactive CTL can interact with a beta2m-free class I antigen.

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