We have assessed the state of rearrangement and expression of B- and T-cell antigen receptor genes in cells of Abelson murine leukemia virus-transformed thymomas and other tumors. We found that unrearranged TcR gamma genes are expressed, as are unrearranged C mu genes, in pre-T, pre-B, and myeloid cells. We also found TcR gamma genes rearranged and expressed in putative pre-T cells and in cells apparently committed to the B-cell lineage. This is in contrast to the data from more mature T- and B-cell tumors. We conclude that in immature lymphoid cells both immunoglobulin and TcR gamma genes are accessible for rearrangement. We discuss the implications of these observations for an understanding of the B-T lymphoid differentiation event.