This report is on a radioautographic study of lymphocytes exposed to 125I-labeled anti-Ig in an attempt to identify surface-bound Ig molecules. The results as studied by ultrastructural radioautography confirmed the presence of surface-bound Ig on a certain population of lymphocytes. The specificity of the anti-Ig was determined by using appropriate controls that included the use of an absorbed anti-Ig and anti-hemocyanin antibody. The labeling pattern resulting from the interaction of labeled anti-Ig and Ig was found to be specifically associated with the cell surface and random in its distribution. Morphological differences were not apparent between labeled and nonlabeled lymphocytes in the spleen and lymph nodes. In the thymus, most lymphocytes did not exhibit detectable Ig. The few thymic lymphocytes that were labeled had unique morphological characteristics that included fewer ribosomes, many of which were monoribosomes. Relative to the amount in their cytoplasmic organelles, plasma cells had surface Ig but to a lesser degree than lymphocytes. Finally, macrophages were nonspecifically labeled and contained antibody on their membranes as well as intracellularly.

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