Nucleated cells other than sperm (NCOS) were isolated from human semen by centrifugation on a Ficoll density gradient. Using tissue-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAb) greater than 99% of the NCOS were found to be sperm cell precursors (SpP). These cells were tested for the expression of class I and II (DR, DP and DQ) HLA antigens by using specific mAb. The anti-HLA class I and II and anti-beta 2-microglobulin mAb reacted with less than 1% of the NCOS. This was demonstrated by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy and fluorescence-activated cell sorter analysis. These results were similar to those obtained from testing germ cells in frozen sections of normal adult testis using the same panel of mAb. In mixed lymphocyte-NCOS cultures, the SpP failed to stimulate allogeneic lymphocytes even when different concentrations of cells were used. These results indicate little or no expression of HLA class I and II including the HLA-D (T cell-defined) determinant on the SpP, a phenomenon which could be of biological importance.