Little is known regarding the timing of immune ontogeny and effector function in fetal humans and nonhuman primates. We studied the organization of lymphocyte and antigen-presenting cell populations in developing lymphoid tissues of rhesus monkey fetuses during the second and third trimesters (65 to 145 days of gestation; term = 165 days). Immunoglobulin-secreting and cytokine-secreting cells were detected at day 80. The thymus, spleen, lymph nodes, and intestinal mucosa were examined for cells expressing CD3, CD5, CD20, CD68, p55, and HLA-DR. In the spleens of 65-day-old fetuses (early second trimester), the overwhelming majority of total lymphocytes were CD5+ CD20+ B-1 cells. The remaining lymphocytes were CD3+ T cells. By day 80, splenic B and T cells were equal in number. Intraepithelial CD3+ CD5− T cells and lamina propria CD20+ CD5+ B cells were present in the intestines of 65-day-old fetuses. By day 80, numerous CD20+ CD5+ B cells were present in the jejunums and colons and early lymphocyte aggregate formation was evident. The spleens of 80- to 145-day-old fetuses contained immunoglobulin M (IgM)-secreting cells, while IgA-, IgG-, interleukin-6-, and gamma interferon-secreting cells were numerous in the spleens and colons. Thus, by the second trimester, the lymphoid tissues of the rhesus monkey fetus have a complete repertoire of properly organized antigen-presenting cells, T cells, and B cells.