Abstract Adoptive EAE was induced in SJL mice by the transfer of MBP-primed and in vitro-stimulated donor lymph node cells into naive syngeneic recipients. Priming donor mice with OVA instead or restimulating MBP-primed donor cell with OVA resulted in no transfer of EAE. This apparent lack of disease, however, could be overcome if the recipients were subsequently challenged with MBP. When this transfer-challenge technique was applied to BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice, these reputed (MBP)EAE-resistant strains developed consistent and severe disease similar to that seen in susceptible strains. In fact, a survey of eleven (MBP)EAE-resistant strains, defined on the basis of their inability to mount an encephalitogenic response in recipient mice following the transfer of MBP-primed and in vitro activated lymph node cells, revealed that EAE could be induced in all these strains. Since the surveyed strains represented a wide spectrum of genetic backgrounds as well as the common MHC congenic haplotypes (H-2 b,d,k,m,r,s,v), it is concluded that the machinery for recognition of MBP, i.e. MHC genes and the appropriate T cell receptors, is functionally intact in these resistant mice. While MHC and T cell receptor genes are required for T cell responses, they are not the limiting factors that confer resistance in murine EAE.