Natural killer (NK) and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) activities can be differentiated by their different sensitivities to interferon and prostaglandin E1

Journal of Clinical Immunology
J E Merrill


Though purported to be identical cells (or in identical populations of cells), the natural killer (NK) cell mediating spontaneous natural cytotoxicity and the killer (K) cell mediating antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) may not be totally identical, at least in susceptibility to regulation by the immunomodulators prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) and interferon (IFN). We demonstrate here that NK cells are always enhanced by IFN, while K cells are inhibited from binding targets, resulting in fewer effectors at optimal concentrations of antibody. Only at 10- to 100-fold suboptimal concentrations of antibody is ADCC activity enhanced. As measured by magnitude of inhibition and dose-response titration, ADCC activity is less sensitive to the effects of PGE1 than is NK activity in the 51Cr release assay and single-cell assay. After overnight incubation with or without PGE1, whatever sensitivity ADCC activity had to PGE1 is lost. However, NK cells incubated in the presence of PGE1 overnight are still sensitive to inhibition. Indomethacin boosts NK activity without having any effect on ADCC activity. Finally, NK activity is substantially reduced by overnight incubation of cells at room temperature, which has no effect on K cells.


Apr 15, 1975·International Journal of Cancer. Journal International Du Cancer·M Jondal, H Pross
Jun 1, 1976·Scandinavian Journal of Immunology·A Bøyum
Oct 1, 1973·European Journal of Immunology·M H JuliusL A Herzenberg
Mar 1, 1981·The Journal of Experimental Medicine·T TimonenR B Herberman
May 1, 1980·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·O StutmanE C Lattime
Sep 1, 1981·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·J T ForbesT N Oeltmann
Mar 1, 1981·The Journal of Experimental Medicine·M Ullberg, M Jondal


Jan 1, 1989·Research in Experimental Medicine. Zeitschrift Für Die Gesamte Experimentelle Medizin Einschliesslich Experimenteller Chirurgie·J GabrilovacM Osmak
Jan 1, 1984·Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences·J E MerrillG Ellison
Jan 1, 1985·Journal of Interferon Research·C W Lutton, C J Gauntt
Mar 5, 1983·British Medical Journal·K Sikora, H Smedley

Related Concepts

Related Feeds

Antibody-Dependent Cell Cytotoxicity

Antibody-dependent cellular toxicity refers to the lysis of a target cell by a non-sensitized effector cell of the immune system as a result of antibodies binding to the target cell membrane and engaging the Fc receptors on the immune effector cells. Find the latest research on antibody-dependent cellular toxicity here.

Cancer Biology: Molecular Imaging

Molecular imaging enables noninvasive imaging of key molecules that are crucial to tumor biology. Discover the latest research in molecular imaging in cancer biology in this feed.

Adrenocortical Carcinoma

Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare malignancy of the adrenal cortex, associated with a generally dismal prognosis owing to its aggressive behavior. Here are the latest discoveries pertaining to this disease.