The independent B lymphocyte surface membrane receptors IgM and Fc IgG receptors were evaluated for interactions using immunoflourescence. Ligand [F(ab')2 anti-mu]-induced capping of surface IgM resulted in capping of Fc IgG receptors only if the latter were occupied during the capping process by: (a) soluble antigen-antibody complexes that themselves provided insufficient cross-linking to result in capping; or (b) monomeric IgG at physiologic concentrations (or less) either purified or as normal serum. Ligand-induced capping of Fc IgG receptors did not result in capping of surface IgM occupied by monomeric F(ab') anti-mu. Control experiments showed that ligand binding to or capping of only one of these two receptors has no effect on the other, and that there were no cross-reactions. The interaction appears specific in that ligand-induced capping of surface IgM did not induce capping of ligand-occupied surface IgD or I-A antigens. Thus, there appears to be a specific interaction between ligand-bound surface IgM and ligand-bound Fc IgG receptors on the B lymphocyte surface. The results also indicate that binding of monomeric IgG produces a reversible alteration in the Fc IgG receptor leading to association with ligand-bound surface IgM. Because Fc IgG receptors are continuously exposed to monomeric IgG in vivo, these results suggest that whenever surface IgM is involved in a B lymphocyte response to an immunologic stimulus, the Fc IgG receptor is also involved.

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