Many studies have suggested that CD8 Abs affect the binding of class I MHC tetramers/multimers to CD8+ T cells, which has led to the interpretation that CD8 participates directly in multimer binding. In contrast, a recent publication has argued that CD8 Abs instead cause reorganization of TCR distribution and hence have an indirect effect on multimer binding to the TCR alone. We address these these by testing the role of CD8 and the impact of CD8 Abs on the binding of normal and mutant multimers to Ag-specific mouse T cells. Our data suggest that, in this system, CD8 Abs act directly on CD8 and only mediate their effects on multimer binding when CD8 is capable of binding to the multimer. These data reinforce the paradigm that CD8 plays an active and direct role in binding of class I MHC multimers.