To clarify the implication of the major histocompatibility complex class II (Ia) antigen induction in microglia following Wallerian degeneration in the central nervous system (CNS), experimental allergic encephalitis (EAE) was adoptively transferred to Lewis rats in which Ia antigens had been induced in microglia at the sites of Wallerian degeneration. In addition to randomly distributed typical EAE lesions, the recipient rats developed distinct inflammatory lesions in accord with the distribution of Ia-positive microglia; i.e., in the ipsilateral thalamus after cortical cryoinjury, and in the ipsilateral optic nerve, the contralateral optic tract and superior colliculus after unilateral eye ball enucleation. Thus, the EAE locus may be targeted by this approach. The inflammatory response was inducible by transfer of myelin basic protein-stimulated lymphocytes but not by transfer of phytohemagglutinin-stimulated or non-stimulated lymphocytes. When examined using monoclonal antibody surface markers; OX-6 for Ia antigen, W3/13 for pan T lymphocyte and OX-8 for cytotoxic/suppresser T lymphocyte, the types of lymphocytes in these lesions did not differ from those in ordinary EAE lesions in the spinal cord. The potential role of non-immunologically induced Ia-positive cell clusters that serve as a target for autoimmune CNS diseases was discussed.