A herpes simplex virus (HSV)-specific long-term T-cell clone has been established from the draining lymph node cells of BALB/c mice; the cells required repeated in vitro restimulation with UV-irradiated virus. The established T-cell clone expresses the Thy-1 and Lyt-1+2,3- surface antigens. For optimal proliferation of the cloned cells, both the presence of specific antigen and an exogenous source of T-cell growth factor are required. The proliferative response of the cloned T cells was found to be virus-specific but it did not distinguish between HSV-1 and HSV-2. Adoptive cell transfer of the cloned T cells helped primed B cells to produce anti-herpes antibodies: the response was antigen-specific and cell dose-dependent. The clone failed to produce a significant DTH reaction in vivo, but did produce high levels of macrophage-activating factor. Furthermore, the T-cell clone could protect from HSV infection, as measured by a reduction in local virus growth, and by enhanced survival following the challenge of mice with a lethal dose of virus. The mechanism(s) whereby this clone protects in vivo is discussed.