A series of T cell-specific monoclonal antibodies was used to determine the location of T lymphocyte subpopulations in frozen sections of human lymph nodes by means of an immunoperoxidase technique. The majority of cells in the paracortical regions were reactive with anti-T1 and anti-T3 antibodies, which define all mature peripheral T cells. In contrast, the majority of cells within primary follicles were unreactive with anti-T1 and anti-T3 antibodies, but were reactive with anti-Ia and anti-IgM antibodies. In addition, a substantial number of T1+, T3+ cells were found in the germinal centers of secondary follicles on the capsular side. The vast majority of T1+, T3+ cells in the paracortex and the follicles were reactive with anti-T4 antibody, which defines inducer/helper T cells. Only a minority of cells in these areas were reactive with anti-T5 and anti-T8 antibodies, which define cytotoxic/suppressor cells. No lymphocytes were stained with anti-T6 antibody, which reacts with a majority of thymocytes but not with peripheral T cells. Scattered cells in the paracortex showed staining for Ia antigen in an irregular dendritic pattern. The findings demonstrate that the major T cell population found within human lymph node bears the mature T1+, T3+, T4+ phenotype characteristic of inducer T cells. Moreover, the location of this population indicates that they play a role in the induction of B cell differentiation in vivo.