Summary: Several immunobiological properties of cell envelope components of such as mitogenicity, antigenicity, adjuvanticity and toxicity were tested in mice. Killed whole bacteria, spheroplasts, lipopolysaccharide and outer membrane proteins possessed mitogenic activity as determined by [H]thymidine uptake in spleen cell cultures. All these components predominantly stimulated murine bone-marrow derived (B) lymphocytes. The mitogenicity induced by lipopolysaccharide was similar in magnitude to that observed with lipopolysaccharide. lipopolysaccharide was mitogenic for gut-associated lymphocytes such as those obtained from Peyer's patches and small intestine. Antibody formation at the cellular level was detected by the haemolytic plaque assay. Plaque-forming cells to lipopolysaccharide were only detected when mice were immunized intraperitoneally with intact cells or with spheroplasts. Among the various cell envelope components, lipopolysaccharide alone possessed adjuvant properties as it increased the number of plaque-forming cells to sheep erythrocytes fourfold in mouse spleens. Also, lipopolysaccharide was the only component found to be toxic for the mouse (LD 0.5 mg). Neither spheroplasts nor outer membrane of showed adjuvanticity or toxicity in mice.


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