The role played by macrophages in two effects of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on the immune system of the mouse-substitution for helper T cells and induction of B-cell mitosis-has been investigated. C3H/HeJ mice are unresponsive and do not produce (as other strains do) antibody to 2,4,6-trinitrophenol (TNP) conjugated with autologous mouse erythrocytes (MRBC-TNP) in the presence of LPS. We found that C3H/HeJ spleen cells produce antibody to MRBC-TNP when (a) LPS and macrophages from LPS-responsive C3HeB/FeJ mice or (b) tumor necrosis serum ([TNS] induced by LPS in responsive mice) are added. The mitotic response was not restored. The findings suggest that adjuvanticity and mitogenicity represent distinct pathways of B-cell activation by LPS, subject to different regulatory mechanisms.

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