The expression of HLA-DR, SB, MB, and MT antigens in different populations of human mononuclear cells was investigated with the use of monoclonal antibodies that recognize distinct human Ia-like antigens. Our results indicate that in man, as previously reported in other species, two phenotypically distinct populations of monocytes or macrophages can be identified on the basis of expression of Class II MHC antigens. Virtually all circulating monocytes displayed determinants associated with HLA-DR, SB, and MT. In addition, a subpopulation of human monocytes expressed MB/DS-associated antigens, as detected with monoclonal antibodies specific for MB1, MB3, and DS-framework determinants. Most B lymphocytes expressed antigens associated with HLA-DR, and the specificities SB2, SB3, MB1, MB3, MT2, and MT3 were also present. Resting T lymphocytes were unreactive with antibodies that recognize all of the Class II MHC antigens tested. T lymphocytes activated by soluble antigen or alloantigens, and expanded in culture, expressed DR, SB, MB, and MT. The majority of the MB/DS+ cells present in the adherent population were monocytes, because they were phagocytic and had the monocyte-specific marker 63D3. The rest of the cells were not identified. They are likely to include mostly B lymphocytes. The presence of other cells, such as dendritic cells, in this subset needs to be determined.