Surface changes of lymphocytes in chronic lymphatic leukemia detected with lectins

S. F. Speckart, D. H. Boldt, R. P. MacDermott

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Lymphocytes from patients with chronic lymphatic leukemia (CLL) carry B cell markers. To characterize the relationship between CLL cells and normal B lymphocytes, the authors examined binding of 5 purified plant lectins to normal human lymphocyte populations (mixed T and B cells, purified T, and purified B cells) and compared results with lectin binding to unseparated CLL lymphocytes. Normal T and B cells were separated on an immunoadsorbent column. Binding of 125I lectins showed equal numbers of surface receptors for a given lectin on each normal lymphocyte population: purified B, T, and mixed T + B cells. For these lymphocyte populations from normal subjects compared with lymphocytes from 5 untreated patients with CLL, binding sites x 106/cell (mean ± SE) were: E phytohemagglutinin (E PHA) 2.59 ±.72 vs 1.12 ± .32 for CLL: Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA) 34.45 ± .04 vs 20.5 ± 5.29; Concanavalin A (Con A) 1.24 ± .23 vs .33 ± .18; L PHA .63 ± .07 vs 1.47 ± .32 and Ricinis Communis Agglutinin (RCA I) 4.56 ±.50 vs 5.53 ±.76. Thus, compared to normal human lymphocyte populations, CLL cells had significantly fewer receptors for E PHA, WGA and Con A and significantly more receptors for L PHA. Binding of RCA was essentially unchanged. It is concluded that normal human T and B lymphocytes do not differ in receptor sites for 5 lectins; compared to normal B lymphocytes, CLL lymphocytes are characterized by extensive and consistent cell surface alterations detected by lectins and lectins are useful probes for characterization of cell surfaces in lymphoproliferative diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283A
JournalClinical Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1975
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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