T lymphocyte subset-specific cDNA clones were recently isolated by a modified differential screening procedure. The expression patterns of two of these cDNAs, designated as 4-1BB and L2G25B, were studied in greater detail. Nucleotide sequence comparison revealed that 4-1BB was not previously recognized. Although the L2G25B sequence had been recognized recently, the function of the encoded molecule has yet to be well studied. The transcripts of the two cDNAs were inducible by concanavalin A in mouse spleen cells, cloned helper T cells (L2), cloned cytolytic T cells (L3), and cytolytic T cell hybridomas. They were also inducible with stimulation through antigen receptor (TCR), with immobilized anti-TCR antibody in cloned T cells L2, dB45, and L3. Concanavalin A inducibility was inhibited by cyclosporin A. They were not inducible by IL-2 stimulation. The expression patterns of these transcripts were similar to those of IFN-gamma, except that the level of transcripts of the two cDNAs was at least fivefold lower than that of IFN-gamma, and the peak level of expression occurred earlier. These data suggest that L2G25B and 4-1BB may represent new T cell mediators.