Flow cytometric detection of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells has previously been limited to MHC-class I tetramer staining or intracellular cytokine production, neither of which measure the cytolytic potential of these cells. Here we present a novel technique to enumerate antigen-specific CD8+ T cells using a marker expressed on the cell surface following activation induced degranulation, a necessary precursor of cytolysis. This assay measures the exposure of CD107a and b, present in the membrane of cytotoxic granules, onto the cell surface as a result of degranulation. Acquisition of cell surface CD107a and b is associated with loss of intracellular perforin and is inhibited by colchicine, indicating that exposure of CD107a and b to the cell surface is dependent on degranulation. CD107a and b are expressed on the cell surface of CD8+ T cells following activation with cognate peptide, concordant with production of intracellular IFNgamma. Finally, CD107-expressing CD8+ T cells are shown to mediate cytolytic activity in an antigen-specific manner. Measurement of CD107a and b expression can also be combined with MHC-class I tetramer labeling and intracellular cytokine staining to provide a more complete assessment of the functionality of CD8+T cells expressing cognate T cell receptors (TCR).