Lysis of virus-infected L929 target cells transfected with the H-2 class II IAk gene by class II-restricted influenza virus-specific murine cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) clones was studied by electron microscopy and compared with lysis of L929 cells by class I-restricted CTL clones. T lymphocytes predominantly approached the basal surface of target cells grown on a plastic dish and also approached uninfected L929 target cells, although virus maturation exhibited no polarity with respect to the cell surface site. After incubation for 30 min, the target cell nuclei began to change: chromatin became irregularly redistributed and aggregated, and the nuclei appeared swollen. Later, electron-dense and -light areas of nuclei became segregated, and the cytoplasm became disorganized with many vacuoles. The ultrastructural changes of target cells during lysis by class I- and class II-restricted CTL clones appeared to be similar. These findings and other cytotoxicity data of class I and class II CTLs are discussed.