The intravenous sensitization of C57BL/6 (B6) mice with class I H-2-disparate B6-C-H-2bm1 (bm1) spleen cells results in almost complete abrogation of anti-bm1 CD8+ helper (proliferative and interleukin 2-producing) T cell (Th) activities. Although an appreciable portion of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) precursors themselves remained after this regimen, such a residual CTL activity was eliminated after the engrafting of bm1 grafts, and these grafts exhibited prolonged survival. In contrast, the intravenous sensitization with (bm1 x B6-C-H-2bm12 [bm12])F1 cells instead of bm1 cells failed to induce the prolongation of bm1 graft survival as well as bm12 and (bm1 x bm12)F1 graft survival. In the (bm1 x bm12)F1-presensitized B6 mice before as well as after the engrafting of bm1 grafts, anti-bm1 CTL responses that were comparable to or slightly stronger than those observed in unpresensitized mice were induced in the absence of anti-bm1 Th activities. bm1 graft survival was also prolonged by intravenous presensitization with a mixture of bm1 and bm12 cells but not with a mixture of bm1 and (bm1 x bm12)F1 cells. The capacity of CD4+ T cells to reject bm12 grafts was eliminated by intravenous presensitization with antigen-presenting cell (APC)-depleted bm12 spleen cells. However, intravenous presensitization with APC-depleted (bm1 x bm12)F1 cells failed to induce the prolongation of bm1 graft survival under conditions in which appreciably prolonged bm12 graft survival was induced. More surprisingly, bm1 graft survival was not prolonged even when the (bm1 x bm12)F1 cell presensitization was performed in CD4+ T cell-depleted B6 mice. This contrasted with the fact that conventional class I-disparate grafts capable of activating self Ia-restricted CD4+ as well as allo-class I-reactive CD8+ Th exhibited prolonged survival in CD4+ T cell-depleted, class I-disparate cell-presensitized mice. These results indicate that: (a) intravenous presensitization with class I- and II-disparate cells fails to reduce anti-allo-class I rejection responses that would otherwise be eliminated using only class I-disparate cells; (b) such failure is generated according to the coexpression of both classes of alloantigens on a single cell as tolerogen; and (c) allo-class II antigens coexpressed on tolerogen function to activate CD4+ as well as non-CD4+ Th leading to the generation of anti-class I effector T cell responses.