Murine models such as NZB/W F1, NZB.H-2bm12 and MRL.lpr/lpr mice have provided greater insight into the pathogenic mechanisms of lupus. To understand further the roles of T cells and cytokines in the pathogenesis of murine lupus, 11 cloned anti-DNA antibodies augmenting autoreactive T cell lines were derived from NZB/W F1 mice. All these autoreactive cells responded to syngeneic splenic cells and helped syngeneic B cells to produce anti-DNA antibodies, especially the IgG antibody. Ten out of 11 autoreactive T cell lines expressed neither CD4 nor CD8 cell surface markers on their surface. In addition, the cytokine production pattern of these autoreactive T cell lines was predominantly of type 0 (Th0) or type 2 T helper cells (Th2). To further investigate the role of accessory molecules in the activation of these autoreactive T cell lines, expression of IL-2R and heat-stable antigen (HSA) on these autoreactive T cells was analysed. Results suggest that the HSA played a critical role in the activation and function of these double-negative cloned autoreactive T cells.