In the present study, we investigated the lymphokine production patterns in a series of CD4+ and CD8+ host-reactive T cell clones isolated from PBL of a SCID patient, who was immunologically reconstituted by two allogeneic fetal liver and thymus transplantations 13 years ago. We demonstrate that these donor-derived T cell clones, specifically reacting with the MHC Ag expressed on the recipient cells, do not produce IL-4 and do not express IL-4 mRNA upon Ag or polyclonal stimulations. In contrast, CD4+ tetanus toxin-specific T cell clones isolated from the same patient and having the same HLA phenotype produced normal amounts of IL-4 upon activation. These data suggest that the failure to produce IL-4 is a specific characteristic of these host-reactive clones and is not due to a genetic defect of the transplanted cells. Furthermore, different modes of activation resulted in simultaneous production of IL-5, IL-2, IFN-gamma, granulocyte/macrophage-CSF, and transcription of the TNF-beta gene by the host-reactive clones, indicating that the lack of IL-4 production is not related to the mode of activation. The finding that some of these clones produce significant levels of IL-5 but no IL-4 indicates that the IL-4 and IL-5 genes are not always coexpressed in activated human T cells.