Enriched human B lymphocytes cocultivated with mouse L cells produced human leukocyte interferon (IFN-α) and shortly thereafter transferred antiviral activity to the recipient cells (99% inhibition of expected virus yield). In contrast, cocultivation of enriched T-cell populations with mouse L cells resulted in no IFN production or transfer of antiviral activity. In addition, both T and B lymphocytes pretreated with exogenous IFN or stimulated in vitro by mitogens could transfer antiviral activity to human WISH cells. The transfer of antiviral activity was not blocked by antibodies to IFN. The data indicate that both T and B cells can be recruited by IFN to transfer antiviral activity. Thus, once cells are recruited by IFN they can transfer antiviral activity in the absence of IFN and protect cells locally or distally from the site of infection. © 1984.