The in vitro influence of cytosine-arabinoside (Ara-C) on mouse NK activity was studied treating effector cells, target cells or effector and target mixture with graded concentrations of the drug. Ara-C increased the NK efficiency of mouse splenocytes without enhancing the susceptibility of target cells or the cytolytic events when added to effector - target mixture. This phenomenon was confirmed with splenocytes collected from congenitally athymic (nude) or conventional donors of different ages, untreated or depressed or boosted for NK activity by various agents. In addition Ara-C increased the NK activity of spleen cells of nude mice deprived of nylon-adherent cells, and did not affect suppressor cells capable of inhibiting the lytic phase of NK process. The drug was able to significantly augment the binding ability of spleen cells to the NK-sensitive YAC-1 target. It was concluded that Ara-C would increase the efficiency of natural cytotoxicity presumably through a direct influence on effector lymphocytes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas