Lipoteichoic acids (LTAs) are Gram-positive bacterial cell wall components that elicit mononuclear cell cytokine secretion. Cytokine-stimulating activity is thought to be dependent on retaining a high level of ester-linked D-alanine residues along the polyglycerol phosphate backbone. However, Streptococcus pyogenes LTA essentially devoid of D-alanine caused human and mouse cells to secrete as much IL-6 as LTA with a much higher D-alanine content. Furthermore, hemoglobin (Hb) markedly potentiates the stimulatory effect of various LTAs on mouse macrophages or human blood cells, regardless of their D-alanine content. LTA and Hb appear to form a molecular complex, based on the ability of each to affect the other's migration on native acrylamide gels, their comigration on these gels, and the ability of LTA to alter the absorption spectra of Hb. Because S. pyogenes is known to release LTA and secrete at least two potent hemolytic toxins, LTA-Hb interactions could occur during streptococcal infections and might result in a profound alteration of the local inflammatory response. Copyright © 2006 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.