A possible correlation between Fc-IgG receptor expression and neutrophil alkaline phosphatase (NAP) activity was investigated in relation to maturation of granulocytes in human peripheral blood and bone marrow. NAP activity was studied in bone marrow from patients with normal peripheral blood NAP scores (20-100) and compared with those with high NAP scores. Results indicate that NAP activity is confined to segmented neutrophils (SN) in marrow and peripheral blood except when peripheral NAP activity is abnormally high. There is a normal increase of approximately 60% in mean NAP scores of peripheral blood compared to marrow SN. Granulocyte Fc-IgG receptor activity, known to increase with maturation, was studied in relation to NAP activity. A combined assay using a rosetting technique with ox-erythrocyte (oxE) antibody-IgG and subsequent NAP cytochemistry was used. Receptor expression was found to be virtually complete in normal granulocytic maturation before the appearance of detectable NAP activity. This was supported by findings in chronic myeloid leukaemia where no cases of low Fc receptor activity were found despite NAP scores of less than 5. The significance of these findings is discussed in the light of current concepts of the control of NAP activity.
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