Receptors for IgM on certain human B lymphocytes

M. Ferrarini, T. Hoffman, S. Man Fu, R. Winchester, H. G. Kunkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A receptor for IgM was demonstrated on the surface of human B lymphocytes by using a rosette technique with ox erythrocytes coated with rabbit IgM antibody (EAM). Lymphocytes forming rosettes with EAM did not bind sheep red cells, had membrane Ia-like antigens and, in some instances, surface immunoglobulin. The specificity of EAM rosettes was confirmed by inhibition experiments with purified human Ig. IgM but not IgG molecules inhibited the rosette reaction. In addition, inhibition of EAM rosettes with IgM fragments showed that the receptor has affinity for a part of the molecule located in the Fc portion. By analogy with the receptors previously found on certain human T cells, receptors for IgM were not detected on freshly isolated B cells, but were expressed after overnight culture in IgM-free media. Studies on different human lymphoid tissues showed that IgM receptors are expressed on a limited percentage of both circulating and noncirculating B cells. In addition to normal B cells, the malignant B cells of a majority of cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia expressed the receptors for IgM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1525-1529
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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