Histochemical procedures for PMN granule enzymes were carried out on smears prepared from normal rabbit bone marrow, and the smears were examined by light microscopy. For each of the enzymes tested, azo dye and heavy metal techniques were utilized when possible. The distribution and intensity of each reaction were compared to the distribution of azurophil and specific granules in developing PMN. The distribution of peroxidase and six lysosomal enzymes (acid phosphatase, arylsulfatase, ß-galactosidase, ß-glucuronidase, esterase, and 5'-nucleotidase) corresponded to that of azurophil granules. Progranulocytes contained numerous reactive granules, and later stages contained only a few. The distribution of one enzyme, alkaline phosphatase, corresponded to that of specific granules. Reaction product first appeared in myelocytes, and later stages contained numerous reactive granules. The results of tests for lipase and thiolacetic acid esterase were negative at all developmental stages. Both types of granules stained for basic protein and arginine. It is concluded that azurophil and specific granules differ in their enzyme content. Moreover, a given enzyme appears to be restricted to one of the granules. The findings further indicate that azurophil granules are primary lysosomes, since they contain numerous lysosomal, hydrolytic enzymes, but the nature of specific granules is uncertain since, except for alkaline phosphatase, their contents remain unknown.

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