In the rat , ligation of the bile duct induces a rapid and progressive elevation of the IgA levels in serum. The increase is about 4-fold at 1 h, 15-fold at 1 day, and 30-fold at 1 wk after ligation. The additional IgA is of the secretory type. Free secretory component also appears in serum after bile duct obstruction; it does not continue to increase and occasionally disappears from serum after prolonged ligation. The increase in serum IgA levels is selective. These changes are totally reversible if the bile duct is reopened at 1 day after ligature. These findings confirm the role of the rat liver in the transfer of circulating IgA into the bile.