The Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) gene is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily of genes. Murine PD-1 mRNA expression has been shown to correlate with activation-induced apoptosis in a mouse T-cell hybridoma cell line and in murine thymocytes. Here we report that expression of the human homolog, hPD-1, seems to correlate with activation of T lymphocytes rather than apoptosis. We observed a time-dependent upregulation of hPD-1 mRNA and protein levels in Jurkat cells during phorbol ester (12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate, TPA)-induced differentiation. Human PD-1 protein was also induced during lectin-stimulated activation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Additionally, TPA stimulation of Jurkat cells induces tyrosine phosphorylation of hPD-1, putatively on its cytoplasmic tail signal transduction motif. These data suggest a role for hPD-1 during activation and differentiation of T-lymphocytes.