We have generated mice lacking H2-M complexes, critical facilitators of peptide loading onto major histo-compatibility complex class II molecules. Ab molecules in these mice matured into stable complexes and were efficiently expressed at the cell surface. Most carried a single peptide derived from the class II-associated invariant chain; the diverse array of peptides normally displayed by class II molecules was absent. Cells from mutant mice presented both whole proteins and short peptides very poorly. Surprisingly, positive selection of CD4+ T cells was quite efficient, yielding a large and broad repertoire. Peripheral T cells reacted strongly to splenocytes from syngeneic wild-type mice, no doubt reflecting the unique peptide complement carried by class II molecules in mutant animals.