The T cell receptor alpha chain repertoire and the possible influence of the alpha chain on the development and phenotype of naturally arising mouse CD4+CD25+ T cells have not been extensively analysed. We used all available Valpha-specific monoclonal antibodies and a sensitive multiplex genomic DNA PCR assay to study the Valpha repertoire of CD4+CD25+ T cells in normal mice. To address whether CD4+CD25+ T cells express two TCR alpha chains, we have carried out four-colour flow cytometry using combinations of the available anti-Valpha reagents in mice where one allele of the TCRA locus had been inactivated. Results indicate that the Valpha repertoire of CD4+CD25+ T cells is as diverse as their CD25- partners. In addition, CD4+CD25+ T cells develop normally in Tcralpha+/- mice and we show for the first time that despite expressing only one TCRalpha chain, they retain their characteristic CD4(low), CD3(low), TCRbeta(low), CD5(high), CD45RB(low) and cytoplasmic CD152(high) phenotype.