Abstract

Mononuclear cells from peripheral blood of normal humans, unselected spleen cells from patients with Hodgkin's disease, and selected T and non-T lymphoid cells from normal peripheral blood and from the spleens of Hodgkin's disease patients were examined for de novo synthesis and secretion of ferritin. After precipitation of labeled lysates and supernatants from unseparated and selected T cells with antiserum to human liver ferritin, two bands were visible on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylimide gel analysis. The two bands were detected in molecular weight regions 19,000 and 21,000, which are thought to represent the L and H subunits of the ferritin molecule, respectively. The slower band (subunit H) was more radioactive than the faster band (subunit L). The H subunit is found in greater amounts in the serum of some tumor patients, but its cellular origin has not been established. The present findings indicate that cells of the immune system contribute to the synthesis and secretion of a ferritin molecule with a high proportion of H subunits.