The tocopherol content of lymphocytes, erythrocytes, and plasma from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), hairy cell leukemia (HCL), and normal subjects was measured by a sensitive high performance liquid chromatographic method. Lymphocytes from patients with CLL had lower values of tocopherol (1.7 +/- 1.0 micrograms/10(9) cells) than lymphocytes from normal subjects (3.8 +/- 0.7 micrograms/10(9) cells). Mononuclear cells from patients with HCL had an increased tocopherol content of 6.2 +/- 1.0 micrograms/10(9) cells. Subfractionation of the lymphocytes from patients with CLL into T- and B-cell subgroups showed that the tocopherol content of T cells was the same as in normal subjects (4.1 +/- 0.5 micrograms/10(9) cells versus 3.5 +/- 1.2), but that the tocopherol content of the B cells was markedly reduced compared to normals (2.6 +/- 1.0 versus 6.0 +/- 1.3).

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