The fate of different complexes on the membrane of thymocytes and spleen lymphocytes was studied with the use of both immunofluorescence and ultrastructural radioautography. The complexes of anti-immunoglobulin (Ig) with the surface Ig of B lymphocytes were present all around the membrane at 4°C; an increase in temperature produced a rapid aggregation of the complex into a cap which was readily interiorized in vesicles. Ultrastructural details of this process were given. The movement of the complexes depended upon the amount of anti-Ig and the temperature.
The complexes of anti-lymphocyte antibody with surface antigen(s) did not result in formation of a single large aggregate (or cap) unless an anti-antibody was brought into the reaction. The caps formed by this trilayered complex were not interiorized. Concanavalin A (Con A) bound to cell surface carbohydrate moieties and the complexes of Con A readily formed a cap and were interiorized. Finally, antibodies to H-2 determinants did not form in most instances a single cap aggregate even when anti-antibodies were used. With time the H-2 complexes tended to form several large aggregates with some endocytosis.