Collagen II (CII)-induced arthritis in DBA/1j mice is mediated by both CII-reactive T cells and anti-CII Ab-producing B cells. To determine the relative role of these processes in the development of arthritis, we specifically eliminated CII-reactive T cells by treating the mice with CII-pulsed syngeneic macrophages that had been transfected with a binary adenovirus system. These macrophages express murine Fas ligand in a doxycycline-inducible manner with autocrine suicide inhibited by concomitant expression of p35. The mice were treated i.v. with four doses of CII-APC-AdFasLp35Tet or a single dose of AdCMVsTACI (5 × 109 PFU), or both simultaneously, beginning 2 wk after priming with CII in CFA. Treatment with CII-APC-AdFasLp35Tet alone or in combination with a single dose of AdCMVsTACI prevented the development of CII-induced arthritis and T cell infiltration in the joint. The elimination of T cells was specific in that a normal T cell response was observed on stimulation with OVA after treatment with CII-APC-AdFasLp35Tet. Treatment with AdCMVsTACI alone prevented production of detectable levels of circulating anti-CII autoantibodies and reduced the severity of arthritis but did not prevent its development. These results indicate that the CII-reactive T cells play a crucial role in the development of CII-induced arthritis and that the anti-CII Abs act to enhance the development of CII-induced arthritis.