Sub-cellular localisation of alkaline phosphatase activity in the cytoplasm of tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) neutrophils and eosinophils
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Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) has been used in studies of neutrophil morphology and function as a marker for identifying different granule populations. In human neutrophils, ALP is found within secretory vesicles, a rapidly mobilisable vesicle population important for upregulating membrane receptors during early activation. Intra-cellular ALP activity in the heterophils of rabbits and guinea pigs, in contrast, is found only in secondary granules. The neutrophils and eosinophils of tammar wallabies (Macropus eugenii) have previously been reported to contain large amounts of ALP activity when stained using routine cytochemical techniques. To define the subcellular location of ALP in this species, cell suspensions were examined using cerium chloride cytochemistry and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). ALP was found in 2 distinct cytoplasmic compartments. One compartment displayed morphology consistent with a subpopulation of secondary granules while a second tubulo-vesicular population appeared similar to the secretory vesicles of human neutrophils. Thin tubular vesicles containing ALP were also identified within the cytoplasm of tammar wallaby eosinophils. Large numbers of ALP-containing vesicles have not been recognised previously in eosinophils and this may represent a novel cytoplasmic compartment. In both cell types, ALP-containing structures showed alteration in morphology following stimulation with N-formyl-Met-Leu-Phe (fMLP) and PMA.
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