Immunization of mice with a synthetic GM3-lactam-BSA (bovine serum albumin) conjugate (designed to emulate the corresponding natural GM3-lactone conjugate), followed by fusion of splenocytes with myeloma cells, gave rise to more than 300 monoclonal hybridomas producing antibodies to GM3-lactam-BSA, which did not react with Glc-BSA and BSA. Eight antibody clones were randomly chosen from the positive 300 hybridomas. The eight clones, all belonging to the IgG class, were unreactive against GM3-ganglioside, whereas two antibodies (P5-1 and P5-3, both IgG1, kappa) reacted with GM3-ganglioside lactone. Binding of these two antibodies to the GM3-lactam-BSA conjugate was inhibited by soluble glycosides of GM2-, GM3-, and GM4-lactam and by GM3- and GM4-lactam, respectively, but not by Gb3 or asialo-GM1 and GM2-saccharides. A third antibody (P3; IgG2b, kappa) was inhibited by GM2-, GM3-, and GM4-lactam, but did not recognize GM3-ganglioside lactone.