Fig. 7. DNA content as measured by binding of propidium iodide. (A) Histogram of normal diploid pattern. In this display, the modal fluorescence of cells with 2n DNA (i.e., G1-phase) is about channel 200, whereas that of cells with 4n DNA (i.e., G2-phase) is about channel 400. Cells engaged in DNA synthesis (S-phase) are found between these two peaks. (B) Partial hydatidiform mole. The G1 peak of normal cells is seen at about channel 200, whereas the G1 peak of the aneuploid (triploid, or 3n) cell population is seen at about channel 300. The peak at about channel 600 represents the G2 peak of the aneuploid population (6n DNA).

syndromes (aplastic anemia and myelodysplasia). This disorder results from an acquired mutation in PIG-A, whose gene product is necessary for the synthesis of glycosylphosphatidyl inositol (GPI), a molecule required for retention of many membrane-bound proteins. Because some of the membrane proteins critical in regulating erythrocyte susceptibility to complement-mediated lysis (e.g., CD55 and CD59) are GPI-linked, PNH erythrocytes are more sensitive to lysis in vitro by the addition of acidified serum, a source of complement. This somewhat cumbersome assay for PNH (Ham's test) has essentially been replaced in recent years by flow cytometric evaluation of expression of GPI-linked proteins (31). In patients harboring a PNH clone, subsets of erythrocytes, granulocytes, and monocytes demonstrate diminished expression or complete absence of GPI-linked proteins. Such flow cytometric assays are rapid, quantitative, and can be performed even in patients who have received transfusions, because extremely small populations of GPI-deficient cells are detectable.

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