TGF-β is a pleiotropic cytokine that predominantly exerts inhibitory functions in the immune system. Unexpectedly, the in vitro differentiation of both Th17 and Tc17 cells requires TGF-β. However, animals that are impaired in TGF-β signaling (TGF-βRIIDN mice) display multiorgan autoimmune disorders. Here we show that CD4(+) T cells from TGF-βRIIDN mice are resistant to Th17 cell differentiation and, paradoxically, that CD8(+) T cells from these animals spontaneously acquire an IL-17-producing phenotype. Neutralization of IL-17 or depletion of CD8(+) T cells dramatically inhibited inflammation in TGF-βRIIDN mice. Therefore, the absence of TGF-β triggers spontaneous differentiation of IL-17-producing CD8(+) T cells, suggesting that the in vivo and in vitro conditions that promote the differentiation of IL-17-producing CD8(+) T cells are distinct.