Mouse CD8+ T cell clones could be subdivided into two subgroups by the pattern of cytokine production and CD45 isoforms that exactly corresponded with the functionally assigned cytotoxic (CTL) and suppressor (Ts) subsets. All the Ts clones invariably produced IL-10 after stimulation with immobilized anti-CD3, whereas none of CTL clones expressed mRNA of IL-10 by the same stimulation. All the CTL clones were positive for CD45RA Ag, a product of exon 4 of CD45 gene, whereas none of the Ts clones were positive for this Ag. The results are analogous to the situation within CD4+ T cell clones in which Th1 and Th2 subtypes can be distinguished by CD45 isoforms and cytokines they produce. Ts clones could suppress the proliferative responses of both Th1 and Th2 type CD4+ clones by the production of two different cytokines, IL-10 and IFN gamma, respectively, but none of the CTL clones could suppress the proliferation of CD4+ T cells. The participation of an additional nonspecific molecule in the suppression of antibody response is suggested.