A mAb J43 has been produced against the product of the mouse PD-1 gene, a member of the Ig gene superfamily, which was previously isolated from an apoptosis-induced T cell hybridoma (2B4.11) by using subtractive hybridization. Analyses by flow cytometry and immunoprecipitation using the J43 mAb revealed that the PD-1 gene product is a 50-55 kDa membrane protein expressed on the cell surface of several PD-1 cDNA transfectants and 2B4.11 cells. Since the molecular weight calculated from the amino acid sequence is 29, 310, the PD-1 protein appears to be heavily glycosylated. Normal murine lymphoid tissues such as thymus, spleen, lymph node and bone marrow contained very small numbers of PD-1(+) cells. However, a significant PD-1(+) population appeared in the thymocytes as well as T cells in spleen and lymph nodes by the in vivo anti-CD3 mAb treatment. Furthermore, the PD-1 antigen expression was strongly induced in distinct subsets of thymocytes and spleen T cells by in vitro stimulation with either anti-CD3 mAb or concanavalin A (Con A) which could lead T cells to both activation and cell death. Similarly, PD-1 expression was induced on spleen B cells by in vitro stimulation with anti-IgM antibody. By contrast, PD-1 was not significantly expressed on lymphocytes by treatment with growth factor deprivation, dexamethasone or lipopolysaccharide. These results suggest that the expression of the PD-1 antigen is tightly regulated and induced by signal transduction through the antigen receptor and do not exclude the possibility that the PD-1 antigen may play a role in clonal selection of lymphocytes although PD-1 expression is not required for the common pathway of apoptosis.