Non-T small lymphocytic suppressor cells in murine allopregnancy release a potent immunosuppressive factor in vitro that is neutralized by rabbit anti-transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta. Previous studies have suggested that the decidual suppressor factor (DSF) is smaller than TGF-beta 1, and in this paper, we show that DSF on HPLC-sieving columns also elutes later than TGF-beta 2. Nevertheless, DSF has the ability to promote anchorage-independent growth of NRK fibroblasts similar to TGF-beta s. Using turkey antibodies specific for TGF-beta 1 or beta 2, we show that DSF is related to TGF-beta 2 rather than TGF-beta 1, and this relationship was confirmed by using a panel of murine mAb to TGF-subtypes. PAGE and Western blotting showed that the TGF-beta 2-reactive molecules in HPLC-purified DSF was slightly smaller than TGF-beta 2 and approximately 20 to 23 kDa. The DSF molecule is therefore closely related to TGF-beta 2 but as released from decidua, differs in size. The TGF-beta 2-related decidual suppressor factor was also obtained from the decidua of synpregnant C.B.-17 severe combined immune deficiency (SCID) and pregnant SCID-BG (C57BL/6 background) mice, confirming the lack of T or B cell dependence of DSF production and the generality of production of a TGF-beta-related suppressor factor by decidua associated with successful pregnancy in mice.