Lysosomal enzyme activities were studied in cells derived from the following types of leukaemia: chronic myeloid, acute myeloid, acute myelomonocytic, acute monocytic, non-T, non-B cell acute lymphoblastic, T-cell acute lymphoblastic, B-cell chronic lymphocytic and T-cell chronic lymphocytic. Activities of beta-hexosaminidase and alpha-mannosidase were significantly higher in cells from acute monocytic and acute myelomonocytic leukaemias, and somewhat higher in the other myeloid leukaemias, when compared with control granulocytes. Activities of beta-hexosaminidase, alpha-mannosidase, alpha-fucosidase, beta-glucuronidase and acid phosphatase were markedly lower in B cells of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia when compared with control or other leukaemic lymphoid cells. On isoelectric focusing abnormal patterns of beta-hexosaminidase, alpha-mannosidase and beta-glucuronidase activities were commonly found in myeloid and non-T, non-B cell leukaemias. All patients with acute myeloid leukaemia exhibited a relative decrease in the B form of beta-hexosaminidase activity. The results described show that studies on lysosomal enzymes may assist in the classification of different types of leukaemia.
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