In the spleens of young, adult mice there exist naturally occurring killer lymphocytes with specificity for mouse Moloney leukemia cells. The lytic activity was directed against syngeneic or allogeneic Moloney leukemia cells to a similar extent, but was primarily expressed when tested against in vitro grown leukemia cells. Two leukemias of non-Moloney origin were resistant and so was the mastocytoma line P815. Although killer activity varied between different strains of mice, the specificity of lysis was the same as indicated by competition experiments using unlabeled Moloney or other tumor cells as inhibitors in the cytotoxic assays. Capacity to compete and sensitivy to lysis by the killer cells were found to be highly positively correlated. Analysis of the kinetics of the cytotoxic assay revealed a rapid induction of lysis within one to four hours, arguing against any conventional in vitro induction of immune response. No evidence was found of soluble factors playing any role in the cytolytic assay.