Lymphoblasts from 18 patients with untreated acute lymphoblastic leukemia were investigated for the presence of conventional cell surface markers (spontaneous sheep red blood cell rosette formation, complement receptors, and surface immunoglobulin). The expression of Fc receptors for both IgG and IgM was investigated using indicator bovine erythrocytes coated with rabbit anti-BRBC (IgG and LgM fractions). The leukemic cells of all patients in this tudy expressed Fc receptors for both IgC and LgM. In contrast with previous reports, null (non-T non-B) lymphoblasts as well as T lymphoblasts demonstrated Fc-IgG and Fc-IgM receptors. However, these two immunologic subclasses of leukemic cells demonstrated significantly different patterns of Fc receptor distribution. These data suggest that expression of Fc receptors is an early event in cellular differentiation in this lymphoid malignancy.