Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) were induced in C57BL/6 and (C57BL/6 X DBA/2)F1 mice after immunization with the Armstrong strain of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV-Arm) and were cloned by limiting dilution in vitro. The cytotoxic activity of these clones was LCMV specific and H-2 restricted. All clones induced in C57BL/6 (H-2b) mice with LCMV-Arm lysed target cells infected with each of five distinct strains of LCMV (Arm, Traub , WE, Pasteur, and UBC ), suggesting recognition of common regions of viral proteins in association with H-2b molecules. In contrast, one clone obtained from (B6 X D2)F1 mice and restricted to the H-2d haplotype only lysed cells infected with one of three strains of virus (Arm, Traub , WE) but not two others (Pasteur, UBC ), suggesting recognition of variable regions of viral proteins in the context of H-2d molecules. To assess the fine specificity for H-2 molecules, we tested H-2Kb-restricted CTL clones for their ability to kill LCMV-infected target cells bearing mutations in their H-2Kb, and we tested clones presumed to be restricted to the H-2Db region for their ability to all LCMV targets cells bearing a mutation in the H-2Db region. Several different patterns of killing of the mutant targets were observed, indicating that a number of different epitopes on the H-2b molecules were used as restricting determinants for LCMV antigen recognition by CTL. Thus, cross-reactive viral determinants were recognized in the context of several different restricting determinants. Mutations in the N or C1 domains of the H-2 molecule affected recognition by a single LCMV specific CTL clone. One implication of this result is that CTL recognize a conformational determinant on the H-2 molecule formed by the association of virus antigen(s) with H-2. An alternate explanation is that one site on the H-2 molecule is involved in the interaction of viral antigens with H-2, whereas another may serve as a binding site for the CTL receptor.