Longitudinal and transverse proton relaxation rates for water in the hydration spheres of Gd(III) bound to the non-immune rabbit IgG fragments Fc (C-terminal half of heavy-chain dimer), pFc' (C-terminal quarter of heavy-chain dimer) and Fab (N-terminal half of heavy and light chain) have been measured at a number of frequencies and temperatures using pulsed nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometry. For the fragments Fc and pFc', a full computer analysis showed that the results could be fitted by parameters of similar magnitude to those found previously for IgG. In contrast to the results for the other complexes the Fab -Gd(III) complex showed no slow exchange contribution to the relaxation rates. Under these circumstances it was found possible to obtain an accurate value for the hydration number (q) from measurements of the longitudinal and transverse relaxation rates at a chosen frequency such that the product of the nuclear Larmor frequency (omega1) and the correlation time for the dipolar relaxation processes (tauc) was approximately unity. Water-proton relaxation rates were also determined for the complex of Gd(III) with the Fv fragment of the mouse myeloma protein MOPC 315. A computer analysis of the results revealed a slow exchange contribution to the rates and this gave errors in the variable parameters similar to those observed previously for IgG, Fc and pFc'. The conclusions drawn from the different systems are discussed in terms of the present state of application of the proton relaxation enhancement technique in biology.