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Keywords:

  • Immunophenotyping;
  • leukemia diagnosis;
  • stem cells;
  • myeloperoxidase;
  • lactoferrin;
  • CD3;
  • CD15;
  • CD15s;
  • CD22;
  • CDw65;
  • CD79;
  • CD87;
  • CD117;
  • c-kit;
  • uPA-R

Abstract

New technology allows highly sensitive flow cytometric detection and quantitative analysis of intracellular antigens in normal and malignant hemopoietic cells. With this technology, the earliest stages of myeloid and lymphoid differentiation can easily and reliably be identified using antibodies directed against (pro-)myeloperoxidase/MPO, CD22 and CD3 antigens, respectively. Particularly for the analysis of undifferntiated acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) cells, the immunological demonstration of intracellular MPO or its enzymatically inactive proforms is highly relevant, since other myeloid marker molecules such as CD33, CD13, or CDw65 are either not restricted to the granulomonocytic lineage or appear later in differentiation. By combining MPO staining with staining for lactoferrin (LF), undifferentiated cells can be distinguished from the granulomonocytic maturation compartment in bone marrow, since LF is selectively expressed from the myelocyte stage of differentiation onward. The list of informative intracellular antigens to he used in leukemia cell analysis will certainly expand in the near future. One candidate, intracellular CD68, has already been tested by us, and results are presented. Also dealt within this article are surface marker molecules not (as yet) widely used in leukemia cell analysis but with the potential to provide important additional information. Among them are the surface structures CD15, CD15s, CDw65, CD79a (MB-1), CD79b (B29), CD87 (uPA-R), and CD117 (c-kit). © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.