In the preceding paper the authors demonstrated that the lectin staining patterns of normal colonic epithelium obtained from colitis and carcinoma-prone cotton top tamarins (CTTs), Saguinus oedipus, a New World primate, differs from colitis- and carcinoma-resistant primate species. In this study they determined the usefulness of cytochemical features in inflamed epithelium as indicators for malignant change. They compared the lectin staining pattern in inflamed mucosa and adjacent mucosa with colonic carcinoma from 8 CTTs with that of 9 clinically healthy CTTs with no histologic evidence of colitis. Deparaffinized sections were labeled with ten biotinylated lectins and stained by the avidin-biotin peroxidase complex method. Numerous significant differences were demonstrated in the lectin staining pattern between normal epithelium and colonic carcinoma; fewer between normal and chronic inflamed epithelium. However, between chronic inflamed epithelium and colonic carcinoma significant staining differences were observed with only two lectins, peanut agglutinin (PNA) and Ulex europaeus agglutinin-I (UEA-I). These findings suggest that there is a progression in alteration of lectin staining pattern from normal epithelium, via chronic colitis, to colonic carcinoma. Furthermore, the differences between chronic colitis and colonic carcinoma are expressed only with those lectins that are associated with malignant transformation of human colonic epithelium.