Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) isoenzyme pattern and the percent of H-subunit content were determined in the thymus of 62 patients (55 with hyperplasia, 7 with tumours) after thymectomy. An increase in LDH1 relative activity indicates that in the thymus of patients with myasthenia gravis the ratio of mature differentiated thymocytes was higher than in the thymus of control subjects. LDH isoenzyme profiles of thymus tumours were similar to those described in other neoplasms, except that thymomas with apparent predominance of epithelial cells and with minimal lymphocytic reaction exhibited a marked elevation only in LDH2 relative activity, presumably associated with the specific (secretory) function of epithelial cells. The elevation of H-subunit content, a parameter characteristic of both thymic components (lymphoid and epithelial), correlated closely with a poor clinical condition in patients several years after surgery.
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