The MRC OX-8 antigen is a marker of the rat cytotoxic T lymphocytes that consists of disulphide-linked chains of mol. wts. 37 and 32 kd. It is thought to be equivalent to the human T8 and mouse Lyt2,3 antigens (all now called CD8 antigens). MRC OX-8 antigen was purified from thymocytes using a monoclonal antibody column and because antigenicity was retained after reduction and alkylation the two polypeptide chains could be separated by a subsequent affinity chromatography step. Peptides were isolated from each chain and their sequences determined. A cDNA probe coding for the mouse CD8 antigen (pLY2C-1 provided by Dr L. A. Herzenberg) was used to obtain rat cDNA clones from which the sequence of the equivalent rat molecule was determined. Peptides from the 32-kd chain were identified in this translated sequence whereas peptides from the 37-kd chain were not. The 32-kd polypeptide sequence consisted of 210 amino acids and had one possible N-linked glycosylation site. The N-terminal part of the sequence was surprisingly different from both its mouse and human counterparts but, as in the other two species, it showed a clear relationship to Ig V domains.