Natural killer lines and clones with apparent antigen specificity

Noboru Suzuki, Elisabetta Bianchi, Hong Bass, Tomoko Suzuki, Jeff Bender, Ruggero Pardi, Carol A. Brenner, James W. Larrick, Edgar G. Engleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fresh CD3- ,CD16+ lymphocytes that adhered to selected allogeneic lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCL) were cultured with LCL in the presence of IL-2-containing medium. The resulting lines as well as clones derived from these lines expressed CD16 and/or CD56, but lacked detectable CD3 or TCR-α/β or TCR-γ/δ complexes on the cell surface. Northern blot analysis failed to detect CD3ε or TCR-β transcripts, but revealed the presence of a TCR-γ chain transcript in one of these lines. In addition to displaying potent cytolytic activity against K562 erythroleukemia cells (a classical NK target), the vast majority of these lines and clones lysed their specific stimulator LCL to a significantly greater extent than irrelevant LCL. This selective killing was inhibited by the addition of cold stimulator LCL or K562 cells, or anti-LFA 1 mAbs, but not by irrelevant LCL or mAbs to CD3, class I or class II MHC antigens. These results indicate that some CD3- lymphocytes, phenotypically indistinguishable from NK cells, can recognize and lyse allogeneic targets in a specific manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-462
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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