Abstract Lipopolysaccharide of Helicobacter pylori was tested for its mitogenicity and for its ability to stimulate cytokine release in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of healthy and H. pylori-infected blood donors. Mitogenicity in PBMC induced by H. pylori LPS was similar to that induced by Campylobacter jejuni lipopolysaccharide, but lower than that induced by Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide in the H. pylori negative blood donor group. Furthermore, H. pylori LPS was able to induce tumour necrosis factor (TNF) interleukin 1 (IL-1) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) secretion of PBMC. Compared with the ability of C. jejuni and E. coli lipopolysaccharides to stimulate cytokine release, H. pylori lipopolysaccharide induced a significantly lower TNF and IL-1 secretion of PBMC than the other tested bacterial lipopolysaccharides. Similar amounts of IL-6 release were obtained by stimulation of PBMC with H. pylori and C. jejuni lipopolysaccharides, whereas a higher IL-6 release was measured by stimulation with E. coli lipopolysaccharide. The results of this study suggest that H. pylori lipopolysaccharide has a lower immunological activity than lipopolysaccharides of other intestinal bacteria. This is probably due to its unusual acylation and phosphorylation pattern of lipid A.