Ultrastructural cytochemistry of leukaemic cells: characterization of the early small granules of monoblasts

O'Brien, M.; Catovsky, D.; Costello, C.

British Journal of Haematology 45(2): 201-208

1980


ISSN/ISBN: 0007-1048
PMID: 6254558
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.1980.tb07139.x
Accession: 006857831

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Abstract
An ultrastructural study of blast cells showing monocytic or granulocytic differentiation was performed with the acid phosphatase (AP) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) reactions. Eight cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and 3 of chronic granulocytic leukemia in blast crisis were studied. A hitherto unrecognized small lysosomal granule characterized by AP activity and lack of MPO was present in the majority of cells of all 6 monoblastic leukemias. These granules were 0.05-0.2 .mu.m in size and were distributed throughout the cytoplasm, frequently at the periphery of the cells. A small proportion of monoblasts showed AP reactivity in the Golgi cisternae. Both AP and MPO were positive in the granules of promonocytes; MPO-positive granules were predominant in late promonocytes. Larger granules (0.2-0.6 .mu.m) with MPO reactivity were characteristic of myeloblasts. In 2 of 4 cases these granules showed AP positivity, suggesting that, in contrast to monoblasts, AP activity is a late feature of myeloblastic differentiation. Ultrastructural cytochemistry may be helpful in the recognition and classification of acute leukemias by demonstrating the early differentiation features of monocytic and granulocytic precursors.

Ultrastructural cytochemistry of leukaemic cells: characterization of the early small granules of monoblasts