Viable suspensions of human colonic mucosal lymphoid cells have been prepared by sequential treatment of tissue with dithiothreitol, EDTA in calcium- and magnesium-free salt solutions, and purified collagenase. The intestinal lymphocyte population, in comparison with that of peripheral blood, had greater numbers of bone marrow-derived cells, particularly cells bearing membrane IgA; showed spontaneous association with macrophages; underwent rapid rosette formation with sheep erythrocytes; and demonstrated increased in vitro synthesis of immunoglobulin. Total thymus-derived cells were equal in the two populations. Decreases were found in "null" cell numbers, in cells bearing membrane IgD and IgM, and in responsiveness to phytohemagglutinin. Macrophage/monocytes in the intestinal population were increased in size, granularity, motility, sustained glass adherence, and phagocytic activity. Human intestinal lymphoid cells appear to constitute a cell population that is more "mature" and/or "activated", in comparison with the lymphoid cells of peripheral blood. The method of preparation should lend itself to the study of inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal cancer, and the intestinal secretory immune system.