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Two Types of IgA Immunocytes in Man


The existence of a secretory immune system is well established in several mammalian species including man1 The two chief secretory immunoglobulins are 19S IgM and a dimeric 11S IgA containing an epithelial glycoprotein called “secretory component” (SC). The latter becomes complexed with IgA during its transfer into the external secretions. In man the conjugation process principally gives rise to disulphide bonds and secondarily to non-covalent stabilization of the composite secretory molecule2; it most likely takes place in the cytoplasm of the secretory epithelial cell. Most of the secreted IgM apparently bypasses this conjugation mechanism3.

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BRANDTZAEG, P. Two Types of IgA Immunocytes in Man. Nature New Biology 243, 142–143 (1973).

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