Lymphoid cells from 20 patients with lymphoproliferative disorders, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia, hairy cell leukemia, Sezary syndrome, lymphoma, and lymphadenitis, were studied for redistribution of surface membrane immunoglobulins (SmIg) and concanavalin A (Con-A) receptors. Fluorescein-labeled polyvalent goat anti-human immunoglobulin and fluoresceinated concanavalin A were used as ligands. Results were similar with both ligands. The highest percentage of capping of ligand-membrane receptors was noted in mononuclear cells from patients with “hairy” cell leukemia: from 24% to 90%. These cells showed moderate to marked fluorescein activity and were able to cap within 15 min at 4 degrees C. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells showed a weak fluorescein stain with a very low percentage of cells (0%--16%) capping. Lymph node cells from patients with lymphoma demonstrated moderate to strong fluorescein activity with only an average of 3% of the cells capping; while lymphoid cells from patients with lymphaedenitis showed an average of 27.5% capping and moderate fluorescein activity. Capping of Con-A receptors in mononuclear cells from patients with Sezary syndrome was poor (0%--14%) with moderate fluorescein intensity. This report demonstrates difference in density and mobility of binding sites for SmIg and Con-A on the surface membrane of lymphoid cells from various subclasses of lymphoproliferative disorders. These differences may assist in the differential diagnosis and classification of these conditions.

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