We have combined flow cytometry and single-cell PCR to characterize the TCRBV repertoires selected by individual mice in a model CD8 response against a defined peptide/MHC complex (CW3 170-1 79/Kd). Ourresults established thatdifferent mice select individually distinct yet structurally similar CW3-specific repertoires. Repertoire selection appears to be flexible depending on the immunizing cell dose. Using a single-donor, matched-pair-recipient adoptive transfer strategy, we demonstrated that the CW3-specific TCR repertoires of normal mice are already distinct at the preimmune level. We combine our data with computer simulations to test models for the composition of an Ag-specific preimmune repertoire and its selection during an immune response.