Hemagglutination and fluorescent antibody studies have provided strong evidence for the unavailability or absence of specific antigenic sites on membrane-bound IgM which are present in serum and intracellular IgM. Antisera specific for different parts of the molecule indicated that a portion but not all of the Fc was involved. Absorption experiments with normal and leukemic viable B lymphocytes failed to remove a population of Fc antibodies found in IgM-specific antisera. Similar findings were made for IgD, the other major membrane immunoglobulin of human peripheral blood B cells. Various interpretations of these observations are discussed. The most likely possibility appears that the C-terminal portion of the heavy chains of the immunoglobulin molecule is buried in the membrane.

This content is only available as a PDF.