8-Methoxypsoralen (8-MOP) when irradiated with long wavelength ultraviolet radiation (UV-A) inhibits DNA synthesis in lymphocytes in vitro and in vivo. 8-MOP binds reversibly to DNA in the dark; when exposed to UV-A, covalent monoadducts and cross-links are formed with the DNA. The present study correlates the cytotoxic effects of 8-MOP plus UV-A with DNA crosslinking. E-B virus transformed human lymphoblastoid cells were suspended in a colorless salt solution containing 8-MOP and exposed to UV-A from fluorescent lamps filtered to remove radiation below 320 nm (22.5 J/m/sup 2/-sec). Cells were then returned to complete medium and assayed for survival (by daily counts of viable cells and by cloning in microtiter wells) and for DNA crosslinking by alkaline elution. 8-MOP alone or UV-A alone resulted in minimal to no alterations in survivial or in DNA crosslinking. DNA crosslinking was found to be linearly dependent on 8-MOP concentration (in the range of 0.01-1.0 ..mu..g/ml) for 3 different UV-A doses (3000-15000 J/m/sup 2/). The surviving fraction declined exponentially as a function of the relative number of DNA crosslinks.