We have used the murine cornea is an allograft model to investigate the relative roles of graft-derived IA+ APC (Langerhans' cells) and host-derived APC during the induction of CTL responses to H-Y. The natural exclusion of LC from the immunizing corneal graft led to a specific state of unresponsiveness to H-Y in responder strain mice, while inclusion of LC resulted in responsiveness. Failure to respond to H-Y could not be attributed to the absence of H-Y or IA antigen expression on the surface of LC-deficient grafts but instead, appeared to be due to active suppression of the T helper cell response during in vivo priming. Reprocessing of the H-Y antigen by host APC did not occur after immunization with H-Y presented on H-2-incompatible grafts unless presented initially by graft-derived LC. H-2 as well as some non-H-2 alloantigens were presented to the host without a requirement for donor-derived LC. Thus there appear to be differential requirements for the processing and presentation of alloantigens.