We have investigated the ability of mAb against LPS to inhibit LPS-induced activation of 7OZ/3 pre-B cells. The fine specificity and relative affinity of these mAb for lipid A and LPS were also determined. We found that antibodies inhibited only the activity of glycolipids which they bound with relatively high affinity. However, two high affinity antibodies binding to non-lipid A epitopes did not block cellular activation. Some, but not all, relatively high affinity antibodies binding to the lipid A region of the LPS molecule inhibited biologic activity. The inhibitory antibodies bound to at least two distinct epitopes within the lipid A region. These data suggest that LPS interacts with 7OZ/3 cells in a highly specific fashion.