We investigated the expression profiles of lacto-series type 2 antigens in hematopoietic cells and their progenitors, in comparison with leukemic leukocytes. Reactivity profiles of various anti-type 2 chain monoclonal antibodies (MoAbs) with leukemic blasts from 12 patients with acute myeloblastic leukemia (AML) and those from two patients with acute unclassified leukemia (AUL) show that anti-sialosyl-Le(x) MoAb SNH3 reacted strongly with greater than 95% of leukemic blast leukocyte populations from all patients (14 of 14). Another anti-sialosyl-Le(x) MoAb, FH6, showed less reactivity than SNH3 (12 of 14 patients), while anti-Le(y) MoAb AH6 showed reactivity with only 8 of 14 patients. On the other hand, none of the anti-type 2 chain MoAbs reacted with CD34+ normal adult bone marrow (BM) mononuclear cells obtained independently from three healthy volunteers. MoAb SNH3, but not FH6 or AH6, showed complement-mediated cytotoxicity to leukemic blasts from these patients, as well as to myelogenous leukemia cell line HL60. Colony-forming unit granulocyte-macrophage (CFU-GM), but not burst-forming unit-erythroid (BFU-E), was incompletely inhibited by treatment of normal BM mononuclear cells with SNH3 and complement. The absence of type 2 chain antigen expression in hematopoietic progenitor cells and in in vitro hematopoietic colonies (CFU-GM and BFU-E) strongly suggests that application of anti-carbohydrate MoAbs, particularly antisialosyl-Le(x) could be useful for elmination of leukemic myeloblasts infiltrating in BM, for purging of leukemic blasts in BM, and for facilitation of autologous BM transplantation.
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