SUMMARY: Wax D, a chloroform-soluble and boiling-acetone-insoluble fraction extracted from various human strains of mycobacteria, showed characteristic biological activities such as Freund-type adjuvant activity (Raffel, 1950; White, Jollès, Samour & Lederer, 1964) and the induction of adjuvant arthritis in rats (Pearson, 1959; Pearson, Wood, McDaniel & Daft, 1963). Wax D from human strains was found to be peptidoglycolipid consisting of unsaturated fatty acid (mycolic acid) esters of mucopolysaccharide containing a peptide moiety of alanine, glutamic acid and -α-α'-diaminopimelic acid (Asselineau, 1951; Asselineau, Buc, Jollès & Lederer, 1958). Previous work from this laboratory has shown the importance of fatty acid content for the adjuvant activity of the wax D of a human strain, Peurois (Hiu, Amiel & Jollès, 1969). This communication reports an increase in adjuvant activity after hydrogenation of the fatty acids forming the lipid portion of the wax D from the human strains Peurois and Canetti.


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