Abstract To study immunological responses in chronic filarial infections, a model utilizing inbred Lewis rats infected with Brugia pahangi was developed. Microfilaria were found in the bloodstream of over 90% of the rats by 16 weeks of infection. Using in vitro lymphocyte blastogenesis, cell-mediated immune responses of blood, splenic, and mesenteric node lymphocytes were followed during 1.5 years of infection. Lymphocyte responses to antigen prepared from infective stage filarial larvae were detectable in the early weeks of infection, whereas responses to microfilarial antigen only developed late as microfilaremia waned. Lymphocyte responses to antigen from adult filaria vacillated during the infection. With the mitogens, phytohemagglutinin, pokeweed mitogen, and bacterial lipopolysaccharide, periods of B and T-cell hyporesponsiveness were demonstrable. Between 16 and 36 weeks of infection node lymphocytes from many rats were unresponsive to all mitogens and antigens. The model of B. pahangi in inbred rats offers advantages for immunological studies of filarial infections.