Summary: Phenolic glycolipid (PGL-I), an antigen specific to , was localized subcellularly in residing in human skin, in isolated from armadillo liver (“isolated ”) and outside in human lepromatous skin. For a quantitative localization of PGL-I sites, specimens, including skin segments stored for 6 years in glutaraldehyde, were embedded in hydrophilic Lowicryl (KM) resin for ultrathin sectioning. Ultracryosections and Araldite sections of comparable specimens were used for comparison of localization results. A monoclonal antibody (F 47-21-3) directed to antigenic oligosaccharide of PGL-I was employed as primary antibody in immunogold labelling of ultrathin sections. KM-immunogold methods gave very satisfactory quantitive gold-labelling of PGL-I. The localization of PGL-I by this method partially corresponded with sites detectable in both ultracryosections and the quantitatively superior Araldite sections, but new sites were also localized. Cell walls in human and in isolated possessed many PGL-I sites, particularly in dividing organisms. PGL-I or its antigenic oligosaccharide was also found, to a lesser extent, in the bacterial cytoplasm. Capsules discernible around part of isolated cells displayed heavy PGL-I labelling, sometimes clearly confined to a zone distant from the cell wall. Extrabacterial PGL-I in -infected human skin was encountered (1) in phagolysosomes and cytoplasm proper of dermal macrophages containing , and (2) intra- and extracellularly in epidermal areas where basal cells harboured in untreated multibacillary patients.


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