Hybridomas were produced from a rat that was immunized with partially purified proteins from supernatants of induced Th2 cells. These preparations were enriched for cytokine synthesis inhibitory factor (CSIF, IL-10). The mAb in the supernatants were screened by a solid phase radioimmunoadsorbent assay using 35S-methionine-labeled secreted proteins from a lectin-stimulated Th2 clone. A total of 18 anticytokine mAb were isolated, comprising 6 anti-CSIF, 1 anti-IL-4, 1 anti-IL-5, and 10 anti-IL-6 mAb. The anti-CSIF mAb were separable into three groups. mAb in groups A and B neutralized and depleted bioactivity, and bound to overlapping but nonidentical subpopulations of CSIF molecules. The 2 mAb in group C did not neutralize CSIF activity, and bound to CSIF molecules not recognized by mAb from groups A or B. A two-site sandwich ELISA for CSIF could be established with the group A antibody, SXC1, combined with any of the three group B antibodies. The sensitivity of this assay was equivalent to that of the CSIF bioassay. These antibodies have been used to show that CSIF is responsible for most or all of the ability of Th2 supernatants to inhibit cytokine synthesis by Th1 cells. In addition, the ELISA has been used to confirm that CSIF is produced by Th2 but not Th1 clones.