Intravenous injection of class I incompatible spleen cells into mice results in a drastic reduction of the recipient's cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response against the injected, but not against third party, class I antigens when measured in bulk cultures initiated 5 to 6 days after the injection. This specific suppressive effect is partly due to T cells but can also be seen when high numbers of anti-Thy-1 and complement-treated spleen cells of nude mice are injected. Such cells suppressing CTL responses against self histocompatibility antigens are called "veto cells." The precursor frequency of CTL specific for the injected class I antigen is found to be reduced greater than 200-fold at days 5 to 6 after the injection, whereas the frequencies of CTL specific for third party class I antigens are not significantly changed. These results indicate that there is a functional clonal deletion of the CTL recognizing class I incompatible veto cells in vivo. The role of such a veto phenomenon in the induction and maintenance of self tolerance and allograft tolerance is discussed.