BALB/c mice were inoculated i.p. with a cross-reactive anti-Idiotypic mAb (designated FD5-1) in the absence of Ag or adjuvants. Injection with unmodified FD5-1 resulted in the induction of serum antibodies reactive with both FD5-1 (Ab3) and the hapten DNP (Ab1'). Endpoint titers of the Ab3 response showed an increase in serum IgM, which was dose-responsive to both the number of injections and the amount of FD5-1 antibody injected. The serum IgM Ab3 response was found to be thymus dependent and idiotypically specific for FD5-1. Athymic mice injected with FD5-1 were unable to produce a serum IgM Ab3 response, whereas their euthymic littermates produced strong Ab3 responses. Serum Ab3 responses and Ab1' were detectable only in the IgM isotype; no specific IgG responses were observed. Indeed, IgG recognized by FD5-1 appeared to be suppressed by FD5-1. Injection of mice with FD5-1 modulated serum IgM responses to DNP, (4-hydroxy-3-nitrophenyl)acetyl (NP), 4-ethoxymethylene-2-phenyloxazol-5-one (OX), phosphorylcholine (PC), and α1,3-dextran (DEX) in a thymus-dependent manner. FD5-1 injection induced IgM responses against DNP, (4-hydroxy-3-nitrophenyl)acetyl (NP), 4-ethoxymethylene-2-phenyloxazol-5-one, and DEX but decreased IgM binding to PC. No detectable Ab1' responses to any of the aforementioned molecules were found when the same sera were probed for IgG. The specificity of serum Ab1' from FD5-1-injected mice was evaluated by antigenic inhibition. Binding of serum Ab1' to DNP-BSA was inhibitable by DNP-lysine, whereas equivalent concentrations of lysine alone had no inhibitory effect. The antigenic specificity of IgM from normal serum binding to PC-BSA was demonstrated by inhibition with free PC, and the binding of Ab1' from FD5-1-injected mice to DEX-coated plates was shown to be inhibitable by DEX. We have described in vivo network perturbation in adult BALB/c mice injected with anti-Id antibody in the absence of Ag or adjuvants. Our findings show that injection of the cross-reactive anti-Id FD5-1 can induce thymus-dependent Ag-specific responses. In two systems where FD5-1 functions as an anti-anti-anti-Id antibody (PC and DEX), thymus-dependent responses were also observed. FD5-1 injection suppressed antibodies binding to PC, whereas DEX-specific responses were induced.