A monoclonal antibody called MRC OX-44 is described that labels all myeloid cells and peripheral lymphoid cells but only 12% of thymocytes. The OX-44+ thymic cells include most if not all cells found in the medulla but only a small fraction of the cortical cells. Together with CD4 and CD8 antigens, seven subsets of thymic cell were defined and it was notable that most CD4- CD8- cells were OX-44+ whereas almost all CD4+ CD8+ cells were OX-44-. In functional tests, the OX-44+ cells accounted for all proliferation by thymocytes when stimulated by allogeneic spleen cells or concanavalin A plus growth factors and OX-44- cells were completely negative in these assays. Also, in tests for thymopoiesis after intra-thymic injection of cells, all activity was OX-44+. It seems possible that the OX-44+ set may include all functionally relevant cells in the rat thymus.