The expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), also called cyclin, was quantified in the cell lines SP2/0 and MOLT-4 and in mouse splenocytes induced to proliferate in vitro with mitogens. Autoantibody from a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus was used to label PCNA in cell suspensions after the cells had been fixed and permeabilized. In the same cells DNA was stained by propidium iodide. The cells were then analysed by flow cytometry for PCNA and DNA content. The PCNA profiles in proliferating spleen cells and the cell lines were similar. Most G0-G1 cells did not express significant amount of PCNA. A dramatic increase in PCNA immunofluorescence was observed in late G1 cells, and further increases were observed in S-phase cells. G2-M cells showed a reduced level of PCNA immunofluorescence relative to S-phase cells but were still elevated relative to G0-G1 cells. Proliferating cells arrested at the G1-S boundary by exposure to cytosine arabinoside showed an increased PCNA immunofluorescence as compared to unstimulated cells.