We recently elucidated a novel function for the 70-kDa heat shock protein (HSP70) as a chaperone and a cytokine, a chaperokine in human monocytes. Here we show that peptide-bearing and peptide-negative HSP70 preparations isolated from EMT6 mammary adenocarcinoma cells (EMT6-HSP70) act as chaperokines when admixed with murine splenocytes. EMT6-HSP70 bound with high affinity to the surface of splenocytes recovered from naive BALB/c mice. The [Ca2 ]i inhibitor BAPTA dose dependently inhibited HSP70- but not LPS-induced NF-κB activity and subsequent augmentation of proinflammatory cytokine TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 production. Taken together, these results suggest that presence of peptide in the HSP70 preparation is not required for spontaneous activation of cells of the innate immune system.