Immune response region-associated (Ia) antigens encoded by genes in the I-A or I-EC subregions have been detected on murine epidermal cells by indirect immunoprecipitation, using antisera produced against murine lymphoid cells. The Ia antigens encoded by genes in these subregions are composed of two polypeptides with approximate molecular weights of 33,000 and 28,000. The Ia antigens are not derived from contaminating B- or T-cell populations. The Ia molecules from lymphocytes and epidermal cells appear to have identical subunit structures and very similar, if not identical, molecular weights. The possible biological role of the Ia antigens on epidermal cells is discussed.
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