A panel of six monoclonal antibodies produced against cell surface glycoproteins of a rabbit T lymphocyte line was used with flow cytometry to define rabbit lymphocyte subpopulations. Four thymocyte populations were characterized by size and expression of cell surface antigens and appear to represent stages in thymocyte differentiation. Rabbit spleen contained five subpopulations: two of T lineage, two of B, and a null cell subset. Bimodal distribution of staining of thymocytes and peripheral T cells was observed using an antibody (9AE10) directed against a Thy-1 analogue in the rabbit, suggesting two separate T cell lineages. One of the monoclonal reagents, L11/135, reacted strongly with peripheral rabbit T cells as shown by two-color immunofluorescence. In functional studies, only the L11/135-bearing cells responded to the T cell mitogens concanavalin A and phytohemagglutinin and to allogeneic splenocytes. The thymocyte subpopulations and the peripheral T and B cell subsets differ from those described in mouse and man.

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