Antibodies reactive with cell surface carbohydrates were isolated from normal chicken serum and were found to be mitogenic for mouse splenic lymphocytes as assayed by both blast transformation and [3H]thymidine incorporation. The Fab' fragments of these carbohydrate-binding immunoglobulins were just as mitogenic as the divalent native antibody. Moreover, succinylated Fab' fragments, which probably would not form self-associating aggregates, showed similar mitogenic properties. All of these results indicate that, at least for saccharide-specific ligands, multipoint attachment and receptor cross-linkage on the cell to which the ligand is attached may not be a stringent requirement for activation.

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