T helper cells reactive to myelin basic protein are clearly implicated in the pathogenesis of murine EAE. We have developed a T cell line, BML-1 that (1) is reactive to the encephalitogenic amino terminal nonapeptide (1-9NAC) of MBP, (2) is I-Au restricted, and (3) induces relapsing EAE in B10.PL (H-2u) mice. Measurement of the lymphokine profile of BML-1 revealed secretion of IL-2, interferon-gamma and lymphotoxin but not IL-4. This profile is consistent with the Th1/DTH subtype. Coculture of BML-1 with MBP-primed B cells shows that BML-1 does not provide significant helper function in vitro. In addition, BML-1 secretion of interferon-gamma was found to inhibit LPS-induced anti-MBP antibody responses. This suggested that anti-MBP antibodies may not be necessary for induction of EAE. Sera from mice, in which severe disease was induced with the 1-9NAC peptide and Bordetella pertussis, showed no development of serum antibodies to MBP. These data show that MBP-reactive Th cells of the Th-1/DTH subtype can induce EAE and do not provide Th function for anti-MBP responses and that serum anti-MBP antibodies are not found in peptide 1-9NAC-induced disease. T cell lines specific for encephalitogenic epitopes and characterized for lymphokine secretion will provide a useful tool for understanding the role of T cells in the induction of EAE.