During their differentiation in the bone marrow, eosinophilic leukocytes synthesize a number of enzymes and package them into secretory granules. The pathway by which three enzymes (peroxidase, acid phosphatase, and arylsulfatase) are segregated and packaged into specific granules of eosinophils was investigated by cytochemistry and electron microscopy. During the myelocyte stage, peroxidase is present within (a) all rough ER cisternae, including transitional elements and the perinuclear cisterna; (b) clusters of smooth vesicles at the periphery of the Golgi complex; (c) all Golgi cisternae; and (d) all immature and mature specific granules. At later stages, after granule formation has ceased, peroxidase is not seen in ER or Golgi elements and is demonstrable only in granules. The distribution of acid phosphatase and arylsulfatase was similar, except that the reaction was more variable and fully condensed (mature) granules were not reactive. These results are in accord with the general pathway for intracellular transport of secretory proteins demonstrated in the pancreas exocrine cell by Palade and coworkers. The findings also demonstrate (a) that in the eosinophil the stacked Golgi cisternae participate in the segregation of secretory proteins and (b) that the entire rough ER and all the Golgi cisternae are involved in the simultaneous segregation and packaging of several proteins.

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