PMID: 109226Jan 29, 1979

Is the process of localized lysosomal exocytosis responsible for the cytolytic action of killer T-lymphocytes?

Comptes rendus des séances de l'Académie des sciences. Série D, Sciences naturelles
A DavidD Zagury


In this paper, we formulate the hypothesis that in the process of target cell lysis a lysosomal enzyme regurgitation, performed by killer cells at the level of the target effector junction, accounts for the target lesion which precedes the lysis (lethal hit). This process of exocytosis, similar to the one described previously in polymorphonuclear neutrophils is supported by cytological studies performed directly on identified killers isolated by micromanipulation. Light and electron microscopy observations confirm a previous report which describes the effector cells rich in lysosomal bodies. In addition, when a killer cell is associated with a target cell to form a conjugate, lysosomes are concentrated near the cell junction and, after incubation at 37 degrees C, acid phosphatases may be detected at the junction. Lysosomal enzyme exocytosis explains why target lysis needs an effector target binding to occur and also the other conditions required for any exocytosis process such as Ca++ in the medium, integrity of the microtubular apparatus, a low level of cyclic AMP and energy dependancy.

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