Summary. The topographic distribution of the dipeptidylami-nopeptidase IV (DAP IV-CD 26) and II (DAP II) positive T-cell population in six reactive lymph nodes and seven follicular B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHL) was analysed with regard to the distribution of activated T-cells, as visualized by a panel of monoclonal antibodies including Tac-CD 25, HLA-DR, OKT 9-CD 71, ICAM-1-CD 54, LFA-1-CD 11a. For comparative studies serial frozen sections of the lymph nodes were tested by enzyme histochemistry and immunohistochemistry. In addition, cell suspensions obtained from 10 B-NHL and interleukin-2 (IL-2) activated T-cells were investigated by a combined cytochemical and immunological method for simultaneous visualization of DAP IV-CD 26 cytoplasmic activity and surface immunostaining for markers of lymphocyte activation. Both in reactive and lymphomatous lymph nodes the topographic distribution of DAP IV-CD 26+ and DAP II+ lymphocytes was rather similar to that of Tac-CD 25+ lymphocytes. On the contrary, the DAP IV-CD 26 and DAP II distribution pattern substantially differed from that of the other immunologic markers. In a cell suspension of IL-2 activated T-cells, more than 80% of the cells with a blastic morphology were DAP IV-CD 26+: DAP IV-CD 26+ cells coexpressing Tac-CD 25, OKT 9-CD 71, HLA-DR positivity, relative to the total number of DAP IV-CD 26 positive cells, were 90.5%, 70.5% and 87% respectively. Only small (not activated) lymphocytes expressed a focal cytoplasmic DAP II positivity. In cell suspensions from 10 cases of B-NHL the mean percentage of DAP IV-CD 26+ Tac-CD 25+ cells was 75.8. Only a small number of DAP IV-CD 26+ cells coexpressed HLA-DR, the mean percentage being 9.6. The results support the view that DAP IV-CD 26 may be considered as a marker of lymphocyte activation; this marker seems to be restricted to T lymphocytes that reside in the T dependent areas of reactive lymph nodes and to non malignant T-cells surrounding neoplastic follicles of follicular NHL.