We report here a mAb, 14-2, reactive with TCRs that include V beta 14. The frequency of V beta 14+ T cells varies with CD4 and CD8 subset and is controlled by the H-2 genes. Thus CD8+ T cells from H-2b mice include approximately 2.3% V beta 14+ T cells while CD8+ T cells from mice expressing K kappa include greater than 8% V beta 14+ T cells. In all strains examined, 7-8% of CD4+ T cells express V beta 14. The frequent usage of V beta 14 in CD8+ T cells of K kappa-expressing mice is a result of preferential positive selection of V beta 14+ CD8+ T cells as demonstrated by analysis of radiation chimeras. These studies demonstrate that H-2-dependent positive selection occurs in unmanipulated mice. Furthermore, the results imply that positive selection, and possibly H-2 restriction, can be strongly influenced by a V beta domain, with some independence from the beta-junctional sequence and alpha chain.