Analysis of Human Leukaemic Cells Using Cell Surface Binding Probes and the Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorter

  • M. Greaves
  • D. Capellaro
  • G. Brown
  • T. Revesz
  • G. Janossy
  • T. A. Lister
  • M. Beard
  • N. Rapson
  • D. Catovsky
Part of the Hämatologie und Bluttransfusion book series (HAEMATOLOGY, volume 19)


Cell surface binding fluorescent ligands have been used to distinguish between different types of leukaemic cells and between leukaemic cells and their presumed normal counterparts or progenitors. Binding of these probes was evaluated using the Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorter (FACS) which provides both rapid, objective and quantitative recording of fluorescent signals from individual cells plus physical separation of cells of particular interest. Binding sites for cholera toxin (monosialoganglioside GM1) were found to be normally expressed in chronic leukaemias but greatly diminished or absent in acute leukaemias irrespective of their morphological type. Antibodies specific for the common form of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL, non-T, non-B) have been produced in rabbits. After extensive absorption and testing these were shown to define a cell surface antigen of non-T, non-B type ALLs. The antigen is absent from other leukaemias with two interesting exceptions — the majority of acute undifferentiated leukaemias express the antigen as do a proportion of chronic granulocytic leukaemias in blast crisis relapse.

The anti-ALL antibodies can therefore be used to distinguish different leukaemias and, more significantly, can identify the existence of relatively rare leukaemic cells in the blood of untreated patients and the marrow of treated patients considered to be in remission.


Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia Cholera Toxin Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia Acute Leukaemia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Abbreviations used


Acute Undifferentiated Leukaemia


Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia


Acute Myeloblastic Leukaemia


Acute Myelo-Monocytic Leukaemia


Acute Monocytic Leukaemia


Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia


Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia


Philadelphia chromosome




Thymus-derived lymphocyte


‘Bursa equivalent’ derived lymphocyte


Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorter


Monosialoganglioside (a charged glycolipid of known structure)


Surface membrane immunoglobulin


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Copyright information

© J. F. Lehmanns Verlag München 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Greaves
    • 1
  • D. Capellaro
    • 1
  • G. Brown
    • 1
  • T. Revesz
    • 1
  • G. Janossy
    • 1
  • T. A. Lister
    • 2
  • M. Beard
    • 3
  • N. Rapson
    • 4
  • D. Catovsky
    • 5
  1. 1.ICRF Tumour Immunology Unit,Department of ZoologyUniversity College LondonUK
  2. 2.ICRF Medical Oncology Unit, St. Bartholomew’s HospitalLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of HaematologySt. Bartholomew’s HospitalLondonUK
  4. 4.Department of HaematologyInstitute of Child HealthLondonUK
  5. 5.MRC Leukaemia UnitRoyal Postgraduate Medical SchoolLondonUK

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