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

Abstract

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.

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Citations

Jan 1, 1989·Research in Experimental Medicine. Zeitschrift Für Die Gesamte Experimentelle Medizin Einschliesslich Experimenteller Chirurgie·J GabrilovacM Osmak
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Mar 5, 1983·British Medical Journal·K Sikora, H Smedley

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