We have investigated the immune responses in vitro of uraemic patients undergoing regular haemodialysis or continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis. Twenty-five healthy subjects were also studied as controls. In uraemic patients, the number of T and B lymphocytes were within the normal range, but proliferative responses to phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) were impaired. Spontaneous immunoglobulin plaque forming cell (PFC) responses by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from uraemic patients were significantly lower than those of healthy subjects. The PFC response of uraemic PBMC to the T cell independent polyclonal B cell activator (PBA) Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) was comparable to the response of the healthy subjects, indicating that uraemic B cells are still capable of synthesizing immunoglobulin. Pokeweed mitogen (PWM) induced PFC responses of uraemic PBMC were also normal, whereas the response to another T cell dependent B cell activator, Staphylococcus aureus Cowan I (SAC), was very low. Addition of indomethacin to PWM- and SAC-activated cultures of uraemic PBMC enhanced the PFC response to SAC, but had little effect on the PWM response. As full differentiation of B cells in response to SAC depends on helper T cells, we conclude that a defect in T lymphocyte function accounts for the reduced spontaneous and SAC induced production of immunoglobulin by uraemic PBMC. This defect may be mediated by an indomethacin-sensitive mechanism.