Recent studies on regulatory lymphocytes demonstrate that CD8(+) T suppressor (Ts) cells may have great relevance in controlling immune system homeostasis and avoiding development of chronic inflammatory diseases. Among the three subpopulations of CD8(+) Ts cells so far recognized in humans, the type 2 (non-antigen-specific) cell is characterized by the capacity to inhibit both T cell proliferation and cytotoxic T lymphocyte activity through secretion of soluble factors. Previous work has shown the impairment of in vitro generation of type 2 CD8(+) Ts cells from the peripheral blood of relapsed patients with multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or systemic sclerosis. Here, similar findings are demonstrated for patients with human immunodeficiency virus or chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Furthermore, the presence of type 2 CD8(+) Ts cells infiltrating diseased tissues in patients with autoimmune thyroiditis or cancer is shown. Collectively, these findings suggest that type 2 CD8(+) Ts cells may be involved in the control of pathologic chronic immune responses, contributing in some cases to the pathogenesis of the disease.