Stimulation of macrophages to lyse tumor cells is a property common to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) extracted from a variety of smooth and rough bacterial strains by several different preparative procedures. The relationship between macrophage stimulation and the structural characteristics of LPS is defined. In protein-free LPS, lipid A bears the stimulatory signal which results in the differentiation of elicited macrophages into killer cells. The polysaccharide moiety is neither stimulatory itself nor does it block the activity of complete LPS on macrophages. Extraction of LPS by the butanol or Boivin procedures produces preparations in which LPS is complexed through its lipid A moiety to a protein rich component, LAP. Isolated LAP delivers a macrophage differentiation signal which is independent of lipid A. The presence of these two structurally distinct constituents in the cell walls of gram-negative bacteria broadens the biological environments in which they can stimulate macrophages in vivo.

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