The neuroendocrine hormone PRL acts as a progression factor during interleukin-2 (IL2) stimulated lymphocyte proliferation. Since the sequential expression of cell cycle regulated genes occurs during this process, we examined the contribution of IL2 and PRL to specific RNA accumulation. Stimulation of the cloned T cell line L2 with IL2 and PRL induced the sequential expression of interferon regulatory factor-1, c-myc, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, thymidine kinase, cyclin B, and histone H3. Stimulation of L2 cells with PRL alone, however, induced only the expression of interferon regulatory factor-1. Depletion of PRL, through the use of an anti-PRL antiserum, inhibited IL2 driven proliferation and the expression of cyclin B and histone H3. These results demonstrate that PRL may regulate T cell proliferation by enhancing the expression of some genes necessary for entry into S-phase.