Leukocyte fractions extracted from the tumor mass and the lymphoid organs of C57BL/6 (B6) mice carrying murine sarcoma virus-induced tumors contained primed cytolytic T-lymphocyte (CTL) precursor cells, in addition to active cytotoxic T cells. These leukocyte fractions gave a secondary response when stimulated in vitro with syngeneic tumor cells, generating large numbers of specific CTL. The activity of these CTL (H-2b) was apparently H-2-restricted, because it was ineffective on tumor targets bearing strongly cross-reacting tumor-specific antigens but with the H-2d haplotype. Furthermore, only H-2b cells bearing the Friend, Moloney, Rauscher-associated antigen, such as Rauscher leukemia virus-induced RBL-5 cells and Friend leukemia virus-induced HFL/b cells, were lysed efficiently. B male GV cells (H-2b cells induced by Gross leukemia virus) were not affected by the same CTL. We propose the existence of a dynamic state involving the migration of primed CTL precursor cells between the lymphoid organs and the tumor mass, as well as the differentiation of these precursor cells within the tumor mass into highly specific CTL.