Stimulation of mature CD4 cells through the TCR induces cellular activation and expansion that are often followed by clonal elimination by a form of apoptosis termed activation-induced cell death. This process of CD4 cell apoptosis is generally thought to reflect clonal suicide and to be independent of other cell types. Here we show that during the response to the superantigen Staphylococcal enterotoxin A, activated CD8 cells, but not activated CD4 cells, suppress the CD4 proliferative response. Suppression by CD8 cells reflects their ability to induce CD4 cell apoptosis via ligation of Fas. Moreover, although activated CD8 cells that express Fas ligand and Fas eliminate CD4 cells through a Fas-dependent mechanism, they are themselves resistant to Fas-dependent apoptosis. These findings indicate a fundamental difference between the two major T cell subsets with regard to sensitivity to Fas-dependent apoptosis, expression of Fas ligand, and mediation of suppressive activity following immunization with superantigen.