When the serum content of tissue culture medium is reduced from 10% to 1%, the capacity of T cells to proliferate in response to antigen within that medium is dramatically reduced. Physiological concentrations of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) or epidermal growth factor (EGF) are able to partially replace the requirement for serum, in that they are able to increase antigen-driven T-cell proliferation at a serum concentration of 1%. Neither growth factor is mitogenic for T cells in the absence of antigen, and neither is able to act synergistically with T-cell growth factor (TCGF) or IL-2) in the absence of antigen. Antigen-presenting cells (APC) pulsed with antigen in the presence of PDGF or EGF are able to stimulate antigen-specific T-cell proliferation to a greater extent than antigen-presenting cells pulsed in the absence of exogenous PDGF or EGF. Both growth factors increase the expression of MHC Class II antigens on antigen-presenting cells.