Receptors encoded by the V beta 8 gene family and identified by the F23.1 antibody are commonly expressed amongst the CD4-CD8-T cell lines isolated from spleen cells infected in vitro with the RadLV retrovirus. All but one out of 12 cell lines showed between 50 and 85% F23.1+ cells in the uncloned cell population which is noticably higher than the approximately 13% level amongst the Ig- normal spleen cell population. There was a high frequency (approximately 50%) of F23.1+ clones from five of these cell lines. The frequency of F23.1 binding cells in the Ig-, CD4/CD8-depleted spleen population is only 0.2%, which gives a precursor frequency in spleen of less than 0.002%. This reflects selective isolation of CD4-CD8- alpha beta+ cells which express V beta 8 gene products by this culture scheme. The requirement for RadLV in induction of these cell lines has been established, suggesting that this retrovirus may selectively stimulate CD4-CD8-F23.1+ T cells. These cells may represent an autoimmune subset present in peripheral lymphoid tissue.