The DNP derivative of sonicate antigens of the H37Ra strain ofMycobacterium tuberculosis (Ra-DNP) is known to induce marked B-cell proliferation. In order to understand whether B-cell proliferation in response to Ra-DNP was antigen driven or represented a non-specific mitogenic effect of Ra-DNP, the effect of Ra-DNP was compared with that of lipopolysaccharide a potent B-cell mitogen. Parameters used for comparison were (i) thymidine incorporation, (ii) viable cell counts, (iii) amount of lg secreted, (iv) isotype profile of Ig released and (v) cell cycling pattern of B-cells in culture. Overall the effect of Ra-DNP was found to be essentially similar to that of lipopolysaccharide for all parameters examined. Yet quantitatively, the effect of the former was always relatively poorer. At optimal doses, the effect of Ra-DNP ranged from 50 to 70% of the lipopolysaccharide effect in different assays. These results suggest that Ra-DNP may have a B-cell mitogenic effect similar to the effect of lipopolysaccharide, but all B-cells may not respond to Ra-DNP.