The lymphatic inflammatory response in Brugia-infected jirds peaks early during primary infections and then decreases in severity as judged by the numbers of lymph thrombi present within these vessels. Antigen-specific hypersensitivity reactions in these animals was measured by a pulmonary granulomatous inflammatory response (PGRN) induced by somatic adult worm antigen (SAWA)-coated beads, and by cellular proliferative responses of renal lymph node cells. The kinetics of these responses temporally correspond to lymphatic lesion formation. The importance of any single antigen to the induction of this inflammatory response has not been elucidated. In this study, the PGRN was used to measure the cellular immune response to four recombinant filarial proteins during the course of a primary B. pahangi infection. These proteins were BpL4, glycoprotein (glutathione peroxidase) gp29, heat shock protein (hsp) 70, and filarial chitinase. All were fusion proteins of maltose-binding protein (MBP). Control beads included those coated with diethanolamine (DEA), SAWA, or MBP. The measurements of PRGN were made at 14, 28, 56, and > 150 days postinfection (PI) in infected jirds, in jirds sensitized with SAWA, and in uninfected jirds. The secretory homolog of glutathione peroxidase gp29 was the only recombinant protein tested that induced a significantly greater PGRN (P < 0.05) than controls. This was seen at 28 days PI. These observations indicate that gp29 may be part of the worm antigen complex that induces an early inflammatory response, a response similar to that observed with SAWA. These studies indicate that this approach is useful in investigating the functional ability of specific proteins in the induction and down-regulation of immune-mediated inflammatory responses elicited by filarial parasites. Absence of a granulomatous response to the other recombinant proteins used may be related to the nature and sensitivity of the assay used or the character of recombinant proteins tested.