The molecular basis and genetic restrictions of collaboration between Th cells and macrophages (Mo) and the numbers of types of collaboration in the Ag-specific cellular immune response were analyzed. Using the response of cloned Ag-specific T cells we examined the mechanisms of induction of the macrophage procoagulant response. Two generic types of collaboration were identified. One was mediated by the lymphokine monocyte procoagulant inducing factor (MPIF) and the second mechanism was by apparent contact collaboration. The lymphokine MPIF was produced by T cells and cloned CD4+ T cells after specific Ag stimulation. Cloned CD8+ cells, most of which also exhibited cytolytic activity, produced little MPIF. There was no evident restriction of the response of Mo of different MHC or background genes. In the second collaborative pathway a subset of CD4+ cloned Th cells were able to directly collaborate by an apparent contact mechanism with Mo for the procoagulant response. There was no correlation of this latter capacity with MPIF production. In addition abrogation of protein synthesis and lymphokine production by Ag-driven clones did not abrogate the direct cell association type of collaboration. Both forms of collaboration were equally efficient across MHC incompatibility barriers and different genetic background. We conclude that there are two independent and parallel Th:Mo collaborative pathways for Ag-driven responses in this limb of the cellular immune response, i.e., a MPIF lymphokine pathway and a contact pathway, and that there are quantitative and qualitative clonal differences in the use of these two pathways. We suggest that the existence of multiple parallel pathways for cellular collaboration may occur more widely in the Th:Mo limb of the immune response in respect to other Mo effector molecules and should be explored to understand the orchestration of this limb of the immune response.