The antigenic and immunogenic properties of poliovirus capsid polypeptides (VPs) have been investigated in vivo and in vitro. VPs were isolated from infectious and formalin inactivated virus. Upon immunization VPs from infectious virus did not induce neutralizing antibodies in laboratory animals after two or three injections. Monomeric VP1, VP2 and VP3 from formalin inactivated virus all induced high titres of neutralizing antibodies generally already after two injections. Some anti-VP sera neutralized heterologous virus types. All anti-VP sera reacted with the corresponding capsid polypeptides from the homologous and heterologous virus strains in an immunoblotting assay. The anti-VP sera reacted equally well with D- and C-antigen in ELISA. Our results indicate that not only VP1, but also VP2 and VP3 are involved in the induction of neutralizing antibodies.