Cellular distribution role as developmental and differentiation antigen

The function of Forssman-specific cell surface carbohydrate determinants for animal cells, if any, is not entirely clear. However, data from different experimental systems suggest that these carbohydrate structures may play a role in cell adherence and recognition. Thus Forssman determinants appear at certain stages in murine embryonic development, they are involved in laminin adhesion of canine kidney cells, they may play a role in the formation of hematopoietic foci in mouse bone marrow, and they are serological markers for subpopulations of murine mast cells or murine macrophages residing in defined areas of the spleen (Figure 1). At least in macrophages expression of Forssman antigen can be modulated by cytokines.

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