The lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-protein complex extracted from the cell wall of Escherichia coli K235 by the butanol-water technique has been shown to evoke a mitogenic response in bone marrow-derived (B) lymphocytes from the C3H/HeJ mouse strain. These mice are resistant to the effects of LPS extracted with phenol. Therefore, the ability of butanol-extracted LPS to modulate a spectrum of C3H/HeJ B-cell functions was investigated. Both butanol-extracted (LPS-B) and phenol-extracted (LPS-P) LPS preparations activated responder C3H/St spleen cell cultures to polyclonal antibody production, while only LPS-B activated C3H/HeJ spleen cells. Both LPS-P and LPS-B acted as adjuvants when injected after aggregated human gamma globulin (HGG) in C3H/St mice, but neither preparation was effective as a adjuvant in C3H/HeJ mice. LPS-P injected with deaggregated HGG (tolerogen) into LPS-sensitive mice has been shown previously to inhibit the induction of tolerance HGG. In the present studies, it was shown that LPS-B, but not LPs-p, was able to inhibit tolerance induction to HGG in the C3H/HeJ, whereas both preparations were effective in the C3H/St. LPS has also been shown to bypass tolerant T cells in LPS-sensitive mice late in tolerance to HGG at a time when B cells are responsive. However, in the C3H/HeJ, neither LPS-B nor LPS-P was capable of this function. The responsiveness of these B cells to HGG was demonstrated in transfer experiments. Thus, in the C3H/HeJ, LPS-B stimulates mitogenesis, polyclonal B-cell activation, and inhibition of tolerance induction, but cannot act as an effective adjuvant or as a bypass mechanism to activate B cells in the presence of tolerant T cells. The explanation for this pattern of responses may be attributable to yet another cellular defect in the C3H/HeJ mouse.

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