In the presence of 5 mM caffeine, irradiated (1.5 Gy) S and G2 cells progressed to mitosis in register and without arrest in G2. Caffeine (5 mM) markedly reduced mitotic delay even after radiation doses up to 20 Gy. When caffeine was removed from irradiated (1.5 Gy) and caffeine-treated cells, a period of G2 arrest followed, similar in length to that produced by radiation alone. The arrest expressed was independent of the duration of the caffeine treatment for exposures up to 3 hr. The similarity of the response to the cited effects of caffeine on S-phase delay suggests a common basis for delay induction in S and G2 phases.