The asparagine-linked sugar chains of rabbit immunoglobulin G (IgG) and its Fc and Fab fragments were quantitatively liberated from the polypeptide portions by hydrazinolysis followed by N-acetylation and NaB3H4 reduction. After fractionation by paper electrophoresis, lectin chromatography, and gel filtration, their structures were studied by sequential exoglycosidase digestion in combination with methylation analysis. Rabbit IgG was shown to contain 2.3 mol of asparagine-linked sugar chains per molecule distributed in both the Fc and Fab fragments. The sugar chains were of the biantennary complex type containing four cores: Man alpha 1----6(Man alpha 1----3)(+/- GlcNAc beta 1----4)Man beta 1----4GlcNAc beta 1----4(+/- Fuc alpha 1----6)-GlcNAc. A total of 16 distinct neutral oligosaccharide structures was found after sialidase treatment. The galactose residue in the monogalactosylated oligosaccharides was present on either the alpha 1----3 or alpha 1----6 side of the trimannosyl core. The Fab fragments contained neutral, monosialylated, and disialylated oligosaccharides, whereas the Fc fragment contained only neutral and monosialylated structures. The oligosaccharides isolated from the Fab fragments also contained more galactose and bisecting N-acetylglucosamine residues than those from the Fc fragments.