Cytotoxic lymphocyte (CTL) responses of unprimed NZB spleen cells peaked on day 4 of culture as did cells from primed NZB or BALB/c mice. In contrast, primary BALB/c and DBA/2 responses peaked on day 6 of culture. Thus, NZB CTL generation was similar to the accelerated in vitro generation of CTL from the spleen cells of alloantigen-primed NZB and BALB/c mice. To evaluate the kinetics of these CTL responses, multiple-time-point analyses were performed during the initial 90 min of the 51Cr-release assays. Analyses were done on days 4 and 6. On day 4, NZB CTL had an initial velocity of lysis slightly greater than that of BALB/c or DBA/2 CTL; however, it was far less than that of secondary NZB and secondary BALB/c CTL. These studies indicate that NZB mice can generate primary CTL responses at an accelerated rate. Such augmented primary responses are unique and may explain recently described abnormal NZB T cell recognition as well as resistance of NZB CTL to suppressor signals.