A mAb anti-2H1, was produced against PHA-activated T cells from a lower primate, Aotus trivirgatus. Anti-2H1 reacted with 90% of peripheral T cells but was found to react with only 10% of thymocytes and some, but not all, leukemic T cell lines. 2H1 expression was dramatically increased when thymic cells were activated by Con A plus PMA. In contrast, anti-2H1 did not react with B cells, macrophages, null cells, or hematopoietic stem cell lines. More importantly, anti-2H1 antibody can induce T cell activation and proliferation in synergy with PMA or anti-T11(3). SDS-PAGE analysis of polypeptides immunoprecipitated with anti-2H1 showed two major polypeptides of 140 and 105 kDa. Thus, the 2H1 Ag can be distinguished from T3, T11, and 9.3 Ag. These results indicate that the 2H1 Ag appears to be involved in the activation of T lymphocytes.