1. To clarify the role of T cells in the development of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis, T cells from colitis mice were primed with DSS-pulsed macrophages in vitro and then transferred into normal mice. In addition, to determine whether the target cell of immunoglobulin G (IgG) is the T cell, the extent of T cell proliferation induced by pulsed macrophages was examined after preincubation with IgG. 2. When mice receiving the primed T cells were treated with oral DSS, colitis symptoms were more severe than in animals treated with oral DSS only. This activity of primed T cells was reduced by depletion from the cells of CD4+ but not CD8+ cells. 3. The proliferation of T cells from colitis mice induced by pulsed macrophages was inhibited by T cell preincubation with homologous IgG. 4. The results suggest that CD4+ T cells play an important role in the development of DSS-induced experimental colitis and that IgG may modulate the development of colitis through interaction with pathogenic T cells.