Twenty-four CD4+ alloreactive helper T cell clones and eight CD8+ cytotoxic T cell clones from five different donors, all of which were dependent on alloantigen and IL 2 for continued growth, were analyzed by FACS for cell surface expression of HLA-DR, -DQ, and -DP epitopes using monoclonal antibodies against monomorphic and polymorphic determinants. Clones were tested early (less than 30 population doublings) and late (greater than 45 population doublings) in their life-spans and at various times (3-5 days) after antigenic restimulation. All clones expressed high levels of HLA-DR at all times, and lower but significant levels of both HLA-DQ and -DP. In contrast, B lymphoblastoid cell lines expressed equivalent amounts of HLA-DR and -DQ, but less HLA-DP. There was no evidence of differential regulation or expression of the three major MHC class II isotypes on different T cell subsets, and neither did antibodies specific for polymorphic epitopes fail to react on clones from donors carrying the appropriate alleles.