Restricted T cell receptor (TCR) VB gene usage by T cells for recognition of antigens involved in the production of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) offers the possibility of selective immunotherapy. We determined the preferential VB gene usage of lymph node-derived clones from SJL/J mice to recognize the encephalitogenic epitope PLP 139-151 and from PL/J mice to recognize the newly described encephalitogenic epitope PLP 43-64. In addition, the VB gene usage for recognition of PLP 139-151 by T cell lines derived from SJL/J spinal cords was analyzed. Lymph node-derived SJL/J lines and clones specific for PLP 139-151 expressed VB2, VB4, and VB17a preferentially, and PL/J lines and clones specific for PLP 43-64 expressed VB2 and VB8.2 preferentially. A VB4 + SJL/J clone and a VB8.2 + PL/J clone were encephalitogenic. Encephalitogenic SJL/J lines derived from spinal cord expressed VB2, VB10, VB16, and VB17a preferentially, with a predominance of VB2. Candidate TCR peptides were synthesized and tested from the VB gene families VB4, VB8.2, and VB17a, based on our data and previous data on BP-induced EAE in mice. Treatment of relapsing EAE (R-EAE) in SJL/J mice with VB4 and VB17a peptides reduced clinical and histological disease severity, and treatment of R-EAE in (PLxSJL)F1 mice with VB4 and VB8.2 peptides also reduced clinical and histological disease. The use of TCR peptide therapy may have applications for the treatment of human autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.