Electron microscopic cytochemical localization of nucleoside phosphatases in normal and chronic granulocytic leukaemic human neutrophils

Histochem J. 1981 Jan;13(1):73-84. doi: 10.1007/BF01005841.


Using electron microscope cytochemistry and cells separated on Ficoll-Hypaque, Mg2+-dependent ATPase, ADPase and 5'-nucleotidase were predominantly localized as ectoenzymes on normal human granulocytes. Large deposits of ATPase final reaction product and more finely granular deposits of 5'-nucleotidase final reaction product were firmly attached to the outer surface of cell plasma membranes. The final reaction product from ecto-ADPase was, however, only loosely associated with the plasma membrane. In addition, finer deposits of ADPase final reaction product were seen in specific granules and in background cytoplasm. No nucleotidase phosphatase activity was localized to the alkaline phosphatase-containing granules (phosphasomes) recently described by Rustin et al. In granulocytes from patients with chronic granulocytic leukaemia, ecto-ATPase had a patchy distribution on the plasma membranes. There was considerable heterogeneity between cells with regard to ADPase and 5'-nucleotidase localization. In some cells, ADPase was seen only at both site, while in some cells no activity was detected. 5'-Nucleotidase localization was normal in some cells but lacking from many. No correlation was found between enzyme heterogeneity and the degree of morphological cell maturity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5'-Nucleotidase
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism*
  • Apyrase / metabolism*
  • Ca(2+) Mg(2+)-ATPase
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / enzymology*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Neutrophils / enzymology*
  • Neutrophils / ultrastructure
  • Nucleotidases / metabolism*
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Reference Values


  • Nucleotidases
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • 5'-Nucleotidase
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • Ca(2+) Mg(2+)-ATPase
  • Apyrase