Prospective recipients of kidney transplants were tested for lymphocytotoxicity; from these we selected 102 sera that lacked cytotoxic antibodies against peripheral lymphocytes from at least 80 unrelated subjects. To detect humoral sensitization, we then reacted these with 17 cultured human lymphoid cell lines having different HL-A phenotypes. Cytotoxic antibodies reacting with these cultured cells were now detected in some of the sera. These antibodies were not directed against HL-A antigens, yet mediated lysis of target cells in the presence of rabbit but not of human or guinea pig complement. Furthermore, they activated the classical pathway of the rabbit complement system. Later, a significant association was found between occurrence of cytotoxic antibodies and rejection of the transplant. Thus, cultured human lymphoid cells, because of their great susceptibility to complement-mediated lysis, appear to be useful in detecting humoral sensitization in candidates for kidney grafts.