Five different beta(1 leads to 3) glucans were tested for immune adjuvant activity on the in vivo induction of alloreactive murine cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL). The beta(1 leads to 3) glucans, lentinan, pachyman, pachymaran, and two differently substitute hydroxyethylated pachymans strongly enhanced the in vivo generation of alloreactive CTL. The augmenting effect of i.p.-administered beta(1 leads to 3) glucans exhibited a clear dose-response relationship and was strictly dependent on the injection schedule used. Injection of high doses of beta(1 leads to 3) glucans as well as the injection during the late phase of the immune response markedly suppressed the magnitude of the lytic CTL activity induced. When the optimal conditions for enhanced CTL responses were chosen, the augmented CTL activity within spleen cells and mesenteric lymph node cells persisted for more than 25 days. Since beta(1 leads to 3) glucans are chemically defined substances without obvious toxic side effects, they may be of potential use to augment in vivo antigen-specific T-cell responses.