CD8+ cells from human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infected individuals have been shown to suppress HIV-1 replication both through a major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-restricted cytolytic pathway as well as through a noncytolytic pathway mediated through soluble factors. To characterize this soluble activity and its potential role in disease progression further, we studied the HIV-1 inhibition by supernatants derived from herpesvirus saimiri-transformed CD8+ cells isolated from infected children. Three of the six CD8+ cell lines derived had a phenotype consistent with an unusual natural killer (NK) cells phenotype with low CD3, high CD56, and low CD16. Supernatants from some of the cell lines derived from children with rapid progression as well as long-term nonprogressors exhibited broad HIV-1-inhibitory activity in primary CD4+ cells as well as in primary macrophages. In contrast to a cocktail of beta-chemokines, the supernatants inhibited T-tropic as well as M-tropic viruses, efficiently inhibited infection in primary macrophages, and inhibited HIV-1 activation in the chronically infected U1 cell line. The HIV-1-inhibitory activity was heat stable and active over a broad pH range. Fractionation of the supernatant by size and ion exchange chromatography demonstrated activity in the complete absence of RANTES as well as interferons-alpha, beta, and gamma and in a size range of less than 10 kD and greater than 3 kD. CD8+ cell supernatants contain additional unidentified factors that have anti-HIV activity to account for this broad phenomenon.