We have shown that plasma membranes from lymphoid cells have inhibitory activity for the growth of normal lymphocytes and lymphoid tumor cells. This growth-inhibitory activity has been found to co-purify with major histocompatibility complex class I antigens (H-2K and D) when these cell surface glycoproteins are isolated from detergent lysates of cells by affinity chromatography on monoclonal antibody columns. When incorporated into liposomes, the affinity-purified H-2 antigens inhibited the growth of both normal lymphocytes and tumor cells at concentrations of 1-3 μg/ml. Inhibition was readily reversed upon removal of the liposomes from the cell cultures, even after several days of exposure of cells to the inhibitor. Inhibitory activity was insensitive to protease digestion or heat treatment, indicating that it was not due to the H-2 glycoproteins. This was confirmed by the demonstration that inhibitory activity could be separated from the H-2 protein by gel filtration in the presence of deoxycholate and could be extracted from membranes or H-2 antigen preparations with organic solvents. The results demonstrate that the growth-inhibitory component(s) of the plasma membrane is a minor lipid or lipid-like molecule which retains activity in the absence of other membrane components. The findings reported here and in the preceding article suggest that this novel membrane component may have a role in control of lymphoid cell growth, possibly mediated by cell contacts.