ABSTRACT: Male BALB/c mice at 8 to 14 weeks of age were divided into three groups: group 1 was immunized with an emulsion of testicular cells (TCs) (107/mouse), complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA), and extract of Bordetella pertussis (BP); group 2 was given CFA and BP injections; and group 3 was given sterile saline injections. Suspensions of TCs and spleen cells (SCs) from each mouse were prepared 4 weeks after the first immunization for a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) assay. For the antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) and antibody-dependent complement-mediated cytotoxicity (ACC) assays, TCs and SCs were prepared from normal male and female mice, respectively. Targets were labeled with Na251 CrO4. The interactions of targets (TCs) and effectors (SCs) were conducted at 32.5°C (for CTL, ADCC, and ACC assays) or 37°C (for ACC assay). In the CTL assay, SCs from group 1 and group 2 caused significantly more killing than those from group 3. Specific cytotoxicity in the ADCC assay was only detected in the serum (maximum specific lysis 47.6%) of one mouse. No other cytotoxicity was detectable in 61 serum samples from group 1 (n = 25), group 2 (n = 17), and group 3 (n = 19). In the ACC assay, no significant specific cytolysis was found at different incubation temperatures (32.5 and 37.0°C) in 44 serum samples from the three groups. These results suggest that CTLs are important in the pathogenesis of experimental allergic orchitis (EAO). Adjuvant alone, probably because of breakdown of the blood-testis barrier, causes significant T lymphocyte cytotoxicity to TCs. ADCC and ACC are not important mechanisms in the immunopathogenesis of murine EAO.