An immunochemical analysis of the kinetics of appearance of Ia antigens during embryonic development was performed. Ia antigens first appear on the surface of embryonic cells 11 days postconception and their expression between days 11 and 16 of gestation is confined to the fetal liver. Ia antigen synthesis by fetal liver cells is detectable at day 14. Ia seems to precede Ig as a surface marker of embryonic liver cells, since Ig cannot be detected until day 16 of gestation. H-2 antigens may be immunoprecipitated from day 10 whole embryo cells. F9 primitive teratocarcinoma cells are Ia negative and H-2 negative.

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This work was supported in part by National Institutes of Health Grant AI 07757 and Medical Research Council of Canada Grant MA 5729.

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