Monoclonal antibody-defined surface markers of effector cells involved in human monocyte cytotoxicity

Antonello Villa, Giuseppe Peri, Vincenzo Rossi, Domenico Delia, Alberto Mantovani

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Human adherent peripheral blood mononuclear cells were cytotoxic in vitro against the murine TU5 line in a 48-hr [3H]thymidine-release assay. Monocyte-enriched adherent cell preparations contain a small and variable (usually less than 5%) contamination with large granular lymphocytes as assessed by morphology and staining with monoclonal antibody markers B73.1 and HNK1. To assess whether killing was in fact mediated by monocytes, mononuclear cells or monocyte-enriched preparations were separated using monoclonal antibodies directed against mononuclear phagocytes (Mo2, UCHM1, B44.1) or natural killer (NK) cells (B73.1 and HNK1), and a fluorescence-activated cell sorter. Cells positive for monocyte markers were highly cytotoxic against TU5, whereas negative cells were not. B73.1+ or HNK1+ cells had little or no activity. Cytotoxicity of cells positive for monocyte markers (Mo2, UCHM1, B44.1) was augmented by in vitro exposure to lymphokines or less frequently to interferon (IFN). However, cells negative for these monocytes markers were also stimulated to kill TU5 by lymphokine or IFN to an extent similar or greater than that of positive ones. IFN or lymphokines induced killing of TU5 by monocyte-depleted, B73.1-positive, lymphoid cells. These observations demonstrate that human monocytes do kill tumor cells, either in the absence of deliberate stimulation or after exposure to agents such as lymphokines. However, the possible contribution to "monocyte" cytotoxicity of minor NK cell contaminants must be taken into account particularly when agents such as IFN and lymphokines are applied, even when a relatively NK-cell-resistant target such as TU5 is used.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-503
Number of pages10
JournalCellular Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Immunology


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