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In the chicken, there are two bile ducts, one draining the left lobe of the liver directly into the duodenum and the other draining the right lobe via the gall bladder. Cannulation of these ducts enabled us to collect bile in unanesthetized birds and to compare the IgA concentrations of the hepatic bile, gall bladder bile and blood serum. Bile from the cystic and hepatic ducts of the same bird contained similar amounts of IgA (1.7 mg/ml), roughly 10 times as much as in serum, but considerably less than that found in the concentrated bile collected by aspiration from the gall bladder (8 mg/ml). Ligation of the two bile ducts resulted in a three to fourfold increase in the concentration of IgA in serum suggesting that IgA is normally removed from serum by the biliary route. This was confirmed by a substantial recovery of i.v. injected, radiolabeled monoclonal dimeric human IgA in the bile corresponding to a rapid active clearance from the blood circulation; negligible amounts of monomeric human IgA, similarly injected, were recovered from the bile.

Original publication





European journal of immunology

Publication Date





561 - 564


Bile, Animals, Chickens, Iodine Radioisotopes, Immunoglobulin A, Immunodiffusion, Electrophoresis, Autoradiography, Female, Male