Turnover and release of cell surface Ig and secretion of total intracellular Ig has been studied in small lymphocytes from normal mouse spleen. The major findings to emerge are: (a) small lymphocytes secrete 8S IgM and IgG. A small portion of the 8S IgM, but virtually none of the IgG appears to have a cell surface phase. (b) Cell surface IgM is actively turned over with a half-life of 6–8 hr, and turnover can be accounted for by release into the incubation medium. Release is temperature dependent. (c) Released cell surface Ig is noncovalently bound to a fragment of plasma membrane. (d) H-2 antigens are not released during short-term incubation. Based on the above findings, we propose a model for the transport and release of both cell surface and conventionally secreted Ig.

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