A synthetic glycolipid, N-palmitoyl-D-glucosamine, (NPG) was found to be a potent B-cell mitogen, that stimulated spleen cells from nu/nu as well as from normal mice. The proper dispersion of the water insoluble preparation is critical for the elicitation of this mitogenic effect. Limulus lysate clotting assay indicated that the NPG preparation either contains only 0.001% endotoxin contamination, or that NPG itself is 10–5 times less active in this assay than purified endotoxic LPS. Since such low levels of endotoxin concentration are not mitogenic, it is concluded that synthetic N-palmitoyl-D-glucosamine, when properly dispersed, is itself a B-cell mitogen.

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