Lipoteichoic acids (LTAs) were chromatographically purified from crude phenol-water extract of whole cells of some streptococcal species, which included Streptococcus pyogenes Sv, Streptococcus mutans 6715, and Streptococcus sanguis ATCC 10556. Among these, special attention was paid to S. pyogenes LTA for analyses of chemical composition and biological activities. All LTA preparations contained equimolar amounts of glycerol and phosphorus. Chemical analyses showed that S. pyogenes LTA contained glycerophosphate, alanine, glucose, and fatty acids (as palmitic acid) at molar ratio of 1:0.1:0.1:0.25. The crude phenol-water extract and isolated LTA from S. pyogenes Sv were found to be myogenic for spleen cells of BALB/c and BALB/c (nu/nu) mice, but not for thymus cells of BALB/c mice. The mitogenicity of deacylated LTA (dLTA) was significantly lower than that of LTA. It was also found that various LTA preparations possessed polyclonal B cell activation ability and adjuvant activity both in vivo and in vitro, as demonstrated by using hemolytic plaque assay. LTA, but not dLTA, induced macrophage activation which resulted in tumor cytotoxicity in mice. Limulus lysate activity of S. pyogenes LTA was approximately 1,000 fold lower than that of Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide. These results indicate that streptococcal LTA possesses various immunobiological activities that modulate lymphoreti-cular system in vivo and in vitro. © 1985, Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart/New York. All rights reserved.