ABSTRACT: An immunosuppressive factor released by choriocarcinoma cell lines was analyzed in the present study. It inhibited the proliferative responses of human T cells stimulated by lectins or alloantigens. It also blocked the generation of alloreactive cytotoxic T cells. The suppressive activity of the factor was detected in the responses of the T cells costimulated with 1 nM 12-0-tetradecanoyl phorbol 13-acetate and 1 μM A23187, suggesting the possibility that the factor acted on the intracellular signal transduction in T cells rather than interfering with early events such as T cell receptor signal transduction through cell membranes. Moreover, the factor acted directly on T cell proliferation pathways without activation of suppressor cells but did not act on T cell activation pathways. Taken together, all these findings expanded our previous reports on a factor released by normal trophoblasts, indicating the possible identity of the two factors. The physico-chemical properties of the choriocarcinoma-derived factor were examined, and the biological significance of the factor during pregnancy was discussed in this paper.