Abstract Heat-treated PBM (1 hr at 45°C) cannot present soluble Candida albicans antigens (CAN) or stimulate in the mixed lymphocyte culture (MLC) reaction. This is despite their continued expression of serologically defined class II MHC antigens. In contrast, heat-treated EBV-LCL present soluble CAN and stimulate allogeneic T cells in the MLC. Heated EBV-LCL stimulate strong secondary responses from allogeneic alloprimed T-cell lines in the primed lymphocyte test (PLT), while heated PBM stimulate only weak secondary allogeneic responses. To test whether this difference was due to a subtle difference in the thermal stability of the functional expression of class II MHC antigens on PBM and EBV-LCL cells, the EBV-LCL cells were heated for 1 hr at temperatures from 45°C to 60°C. Even after treatment at 60°C, the heated EBV-LCL strongly stimulated alloreactive T cells in MLC and PLT reactions. Heated EBV-LCL are not nonspecifically mitogenic, as they do not stimulate autologous T-cell lines primed to alloantigens. However, the weak response of alloprimed T-cell lines to heated allogeneic PBM can be augmented by coculturing with autologous heated EBV-LCL, suggesting heated EBV-LCL maintain a metabolic activity necessary for allogeneic stimulation that is deficient in heated PBM. While heated EBV-LCL stimulate allogeneic alloprimed T-cell lines, they no longer stimulate autologous EBV-LCL primed T-cell lines; irradiated EBV-LCL stimulate both strongly. This suggests the involvement of a heat labile antigenic or metabolic factor in the T-cell recognition of autologous but not allogeneic EBV-LCL.