The in vitro sensitivity of B lymphocytes and macrophages derived from (CBA/N × DBA/2N) F1 male mice, which carry an X-linked recessive gene that produces defective B cell maturation, was compared to phenotypically normal F1 female mice. B lymphocytes of F1 males exhibit an abnormal mitogenic response to LPS in serum-free culture conditions, which is partially reversed in the presence of serum. In contrast, both resident and thioglycollate-induced peritoneal macrophages of F1 male mice respond normally to LPS. In response to LPS in vitro, F1 male macrophages produce the monokine, lymphocyte-activating factor (LAF) and release prostaglandins. Furthermore, F1 male macrophages are sensitive to the lethal effects of LPS. Therefore, the defective CBA/N gene appears to be expressed only in B lymphocytes and not in macrophages. Since F1 male mice are normally sensitive to the lethal and adjuvant effects of LPS in vivo, these findings suggest that a mature B lymphocyte population is not required for these effects and support the role of the macrophage in the mediation of LPS-induced lethality and adjuvanticity.


This work was supported in part by the Naval Medical Research and Development Command, Work Unit No. MR041 02.01.0037. The opinions or assertions contained herein are the private ones of the authors and are not to be construed as official or reflecting the views of the United States Navy Department or the Naval service at large. The experiments reported herein were conducted according to the principles set forth in the “Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals,” Institute of Laboratory Animals Resources, National Research Council, Department of Health, Education and Welfare Publication No. (National Institutes of Health) 74-23.

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