A murine monoclonal antibody (MoAb) B3 to rat cells and MoAb HBJ127 and HBJ98 to human cells were found previously to recognize the homologous antigen systems (gp130 in the rat and gp125 in the human) which are predominantly distributed on the cell surface of proliferating cells of the respective species, and the expression of the antigen systems in lymphocytes were indicated previously to correlate closely with the activation and proliferation of the lymphocytes. In this respect, the in vitro effects of these MoAb on the nucleic acid synthesis, cell cycles, or proliferation of stimulated rat and human lymphocytes were examined by use of T cell-enriched and B cell-enriched cell populations. The addition of B3 MoAb to cultures diminished Con A-induced or allogeneic mixed lymphocyte culture-induced rat T cell proliferation and lipopolysaccharide-induced rat B cell proliferation, whereas B31 MoAb, which is unreactive with the gp130 antigen, did not inhibit these lymphocyte responses. Similarly, both HBJ127 and HBJ98 MoAb could inhibit the human lymphocyte proliferation in vitro, although HBJ127 MoAb showed about eight times greater inhibitory activity than did HBJ98 MoAb; HBJ127 MoAb almost completely inhibited the DNA synthesis of the Con A-stimulated lymphocytes at concentrations higher than 13 micrograms/ml. The flow cytometric analysis of the cellular nucleic acid contents with acridine orange-stained cells showed that when B3 MoAb and Con A were simultaneously added to unstimulated rat T cells, progression of the cell cycle was blocked at the G0 to G1 transition. In this culture condition, the appearance of the B3-defined antigen was arrested in a moderate level, as determined with fluorescein-stained cells. On the addition of B3 MoAb to the culture of the T cells after 24-hr Con A stimulation, the MoAb also strongly inhibited the cellular DNA synthesis, but it did not arrest the cell cycle at a certain phase and did not modulate the corresponding antigen. These data suggest that the B3 MoAb-defined antigen on the rat lymphocytes and the HBJ127/HBJ98 MoAb-defined antigen on the human lymphocytes may play some requisite roles not only in lymphocyte activation but also in the subsequent progression through the cell cycle to proliferate.