Migratory response of human natural killer cells to lymphotactin

Bianchi Giancarlo, Sozzani Silvano, Zlotnik Albert, Mantovani Alberto, Allavena Paola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lymphotactin (Lptn) is a new protein belonging to the C or γ subfamily of chemokines with only two of the four cysteine residues. Lptn was reported to act specifically on T lymphocytes and not on monocytes and neutrophils. To understand better the spectrum of action of Lptn we have examined its ability to induce natural killer (NK) cell migration. Freshly isolated human NK cells as well as long-term cultured NI( cells propagated in interleukin-2 (IL-2)-containing medium migrated in response to Lptn. Optimal activity was observed at concentrations ranging from 50 to 200 ng/ml, and the efficacy was comparable to that of MCP-1, the prototype of C-C chemokines. Migration in response to Lptn was chemotaxis rather than chemokinesis as determined in a checkerboard analysis. Migration of NK cells was comparable to that observed with T lymphocytes from the same donor, under the same experimental conditions. Finally, in contrast to other cytokines (IL-2 and IL-12) which in addition to chemotaxis augment NK cell adhesion to endothelial cells in vitro, Lptn did not affect the adhesiveness of NK cells to vascular endothelium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3238-3241
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Chemokines
  • Chemotaxis
  • Migration
  • Natural killer cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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