Affinity chromatography-purified and non-purified rabbit immunoglobulin G (IgG) raised against human immunoglobulin M (IgM) or kappa chain was incorporated into carboxyfluorescein-containing small unilamellar liposomes composed of egg phosphatidylcholine, cholesterol and phosphatidic acid (molar proportions 7:7:1). IgG incorporation was carried out by co-sonicating the immunoglobulin with the lipids (30% incorporated) (method A) or by interacting it with preformed liposomes bearing goat anti-(rabbit IgG) IgG (63 and 70% incorporated) (method B). (1) Judging from liposomal carboxyfluorescein-latency values, incorporation of IgG by either method did not affect liposomal stability. Furthermore, treatment of liposomes with papain released 75.1% (method A) and 93.3% and 95.1% (method B) of the IgG, suggesting that most of its antigen-recognizing Fab regions were available on the liposomal surface. This was strongly supported by the immunoelectrophoretic detection of Fab in papain-released products. (2) Liposomes bearing purified anti-IgM IgG bound 30%, (method A) and 45% (method B) of IgM in buffer. These values wee about 6-fold greater (both methods) than those obtained with corresponding liposomes bearing non-purified IgG. Binding of liposomes bearing anti-(kappa chain) IgG to kappa chain in buffer was 37% of that added. In the presence of mouse blood or serum, binding of IgM to liposomes bearing purified anti-IgM IgG was decreased slightly (24 and 30% for methods A and B). However, because of the nearly complete abolition of IgM binding to liposomes bearing non-purified IgG, these values were now 20–25-fold greater than those obtained with liposomes bearing non-purified IgG. (3) In mice pre-injected with IgM, at least 36.1% and 37.7% of the antigen was bound to subsequently injected liposomes bearing anti-IgM IgG incorporated by methods A and B respectively. No binding occurred with liposomes bearing the non-purified IgG. (4) Cholesterol-rich small unilamellar liposomes bearing affinity chromatography-purified antibodies may prove useful for the specific binding of free antigens in vivo.

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