The antibody response to dextran B1355 is thymus independent, and in high responder mice, over 90% of the antibodies carry the idiotype of an alpha-1,3 binding myeloma protein (J558). The present experiments demonstrate: (a) dextran B1355 is a B-cell mitogen both in a strain which carries the J558 idiotype on antibodies and in a low-responder strain which does not express that idiotype on antibodies to dextran; (b) anti-idiotypic antibodies to J558 recognize a dextran-specific surface receptor on 10--15% of all splenic B cells in those two strains as well as in all strains so far tested; (c) as shown by inhibition experiments such surface receptors cross-react with J558, and (d) anti-idiotypic antibodies are mitogenic for spleen cells of both strains resulting in B-cell proliferation and maturation to polyclonal antibody secretion.

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