The synthetic peptide p23 representing residues 335 to 357 in the CH3 domain of human IgG1 was able to increase levels of secreted Ig in murine spleen cell cultures. This in vitro response was optimal in the presence of between 10(-4) and 10(-3) micron p23/ml and the levels of secreted Ig reached a maximum on day 4 or day 5 of culture. Supernatants from p23-treated cell cultures generally contained more IgM than IgG and undetectable levels of IgA. Induction of Ig secretion by p23 was macrophage-independent but T cell-dependent and, with respect to the latter case, removal of T cells from spleen cells reduced the levels of both IgM and IgG. Although maintaining the B cell differentiation-inducing quality of its progenitor molecule, the Fc gamma fragment, p23 appeared to have lost the ability to induce B cell proliferation. Evidence is presented that a sequence functionally similar to p23 is extant in mouse IgG by showing that murine Fc gamma fragments were also able to induce increases in Ig-secreting cells in murine spleen cell cultures.