• β-glucuronidase;
  • blood monocytes;
  • grades of hepatic lesions;
  • hepatic amoebiasis;
  • Kupffer cells;
  • N-acetyl-β-glucosaminidase

ABSTRACT— Two key lysosomal enzymes, N-acetyl-β-glucosaminidase and β-glucuronidase of Kupffer cells and blood monocytes were studied in guinea pigs infected intramesenterically with E. histolytica. The animals were sacrificed on days 0, 2, 5 and 8 post-infection. The enzyme levels in the cell lysate and supernatants of both Kupffer cells and blood monocytes were significantly higher (P < 0.01) in the infected animals compared with the controls. This increase was more marked on the 5th and 8th days post infection (P < 0.001). The alteration in enzyme levels was higher in Kupffer cells than in blood monocytes (P < 0.05). The enzyme levels increased exponentially with the severity of the hepatic lesions. A direct correlation was observed between the enzyme levels and the severity of the hepatic lesions (P < 0.01). Hence, the role of lysosomal enzymes, released by activated mononuclear phagocytic cells, in the pathogenesis of hepatic amoebiasis is postulated.