We have analyzed whether lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells, generated from C57BL/6J (B6) spleen cells at different times after recombinant interleukin-2 (rIL-2) culture, could be heterogeneous in their ability to lyse a variety of tumor targets. When tested 3 days after exposure to 250 U/ml rIL-2 (day-3 LAK cells) a significant lysis was detected with the natural-killer(NK)-sensitive YAC lymphoma, the NK-resistant P815 mastocytoma, three different syngeneic melanomas and a syngeneic fibrosarcoma (group 1 targets), whereas no lysis was observed with a reticulum cell sarcoma, two different lymphomas or concanavalin A blasts, all of B6 origin (group 2 targets). LAK cells cultured for 5 days, however, lysed group 2 targets and showed a parallel increase of cytotoxic activity against group 1 targets. At day 7, LAK activity declined on all targets examined. In cold-target inhibition studies, the lysis of group 1 tumor targets by day-3 or day-5 LAK cells could be inhibited only by group 1 and not by group 2 unlabelled tumor cells. All group 1 tumors could effectively compete each other. Conversely, the lysis of group 2 tumor targets by day-5 LAK cells was inhibited by both group 1 and group 2 targets. These data indicate the presence of separate LAK effectors that appear to arise with different time kinetics and have different recognition structures. In vitro antibody depletion at the effector level showed that day-3 LAK cells with cytotoxic activity against group 1 tumors were ASGM1+. Day-5 LAK cells included both ASGM1+ and Lyt2+ effectors and both populations, although to a different extent, contributed to the lysis of all targets. Our results indicate that LAK cells are functionally heterogeneous. This heterogeneity is defined by their susceptible target cells and cannot be ascribed to different (Lyt2+ versus ASGM1+) lineages.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research