The injection of soluble Ag into the anterior chamber (a.c) of the eye induces systemic tolerance, termed a.c.-associated immune deviation (ACAID), characterized by Ag-specific inhibition of delayed-type hypersensitivity responses and a reduction in complement-fixing Abs. Recently, we have shown that CD8+ CTL responses are also inhibited in ACAID. In this study, we have used an adoptive transfer approach to follow the fate of Ag-specific CD8+ TCR transgenic (OT-I) T cells in vivo during the induction and expression of ACAID. C57BL/6 (B6) recipients of OT-I splenocytes that were injected with chicken OVA in the a.c. displayed reduced OVA-specific delayed-type hypersensitivity and CTL responses, compared with those of mice given OVA in the subconjunctiva or an irrelevant Ag human IgG in the a.c. OT-I T cells increased 9-fold in the submandibular lymph nodes and 3-fold in the spleen following an a.c. injection with OVA, indicating that expansion rather than deletion of Ag-specific CD8+ T cells was induced by this treatment. OT-I T cells expanded equivalently upon administration of OVA in CFA to mice previously given OVA in the a.c. or subconjunctiva. However, the lytic activity attributed to OT-I T cells was reduced on a per-cell basis in mice previously given OVA in the a.c. We conclude that tolerance of CTL responses in mice given Ag via the a.c. results from unresponsiveness of Ag-specific CD8+ T cells.