The specificity of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (Tc) cells is conferred by an antigen-specific receptor, Ti, which in humans is physically associated with an invariant cell-surface glycoprotein, T3. Monoclonal antibodies specific for either T3 and Ti are able to elicit a variety of T-cell responses such as lymphokine production, mitogenesis and cytotoxicity. For example, human Tc cells lyse anti-T3-expressing hybridoma cells, but not cells of other specificity, presumably because anti-T3 on the hybridoma cells binds to T3 on the Tc cells and triggers lysis. Here, we have adapted approaches used in a different cytotoxic effector system, antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), to alter the specificity of Tc cell. Studies of ADCC showed that heteroaggregates containing anti-Fc receptor (Fc gamma R) antibody cross-linked to a second antibody bind to Fc gamma R on ADCC effectors and cause them to kill target cells bearing antigen recognized by the second antibody. The present studies use anti-T3-containing heteroaggregates to re-target human Tc cells to cells for which we have appropriate antibodies, including xenogeneic tumour cells and chicken erythrocytes. These results extend previous observations on the role of T3 in triggering cytotoxicity and suggest that effector cell re-targeting could be used for in vivo treatment of neoplasms and other pathogens that express distinctive surface antigens.