In this study the effect of anti-cluster designation (CD) 2 monoclonal antibodies (mAb) on the activation of a cloned human T cell line, HY837, after triggering the CD3/T cell receptor (TcR) complex by anti-CD3 or anti-TcR mAb is described. HY837, which reacts with a series of mAb directed at different epitopes on the TcR, could be induced to proliferation and interleukin 2 (IL-2) production by soluble mAb directed at the CD3/TcR complex in the absence of accessory cells. mAb directed at the CD2 epitope T11-1 were shown to block the IL-2 production by HY837, as well as the expression of the IL-2 receptor, induced by anti-CD3 mAb, resulting in the inhibition of the proliferative response. The effect of anti-CD2 mAb on the proliferative response of HY837, induced by anti-CD3 mAb, was not due to a competition for Fc binding sites. In contrast, the proliferative responses and IL-2 production of HY837, induced by mAb directed at the TcR, were shown to be enhanced by the action of the anti-CD2 mAb. These results indicate that effects mediated by anti-CD3/TcR mAb cannot always be extrapolated to antigen-mediated effects and show that anti-CD2 mAb may regulate the T cell response, induced by mAb directed at the CD3/TcR complex, depending on which part of this complex is triggered during activation.