Obligatory role of IFN-γ in induction of lymphokine-activated and T lymphocyte killer activity, but not in boosting of natural cytotoxicity

M. Giovarelli, A. Santoni, C. Jemma, T. Musso, A. M. Giuffrida, G. Cavallo, S. Landolfo, G. Forni

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The biological role of the murine IFN-γ endogenously secreted during cell activation has been probed by the use of a rat mAb (AN18) that specifically neutralizes its activity. When An18 mAb is added to the cultures of BALB/c and C57BL/6 nylon nonadherent spleen cells (naSpc) stimulated for 18 h with 1000 U of IL-2, the normally released IFN-γ can no longer be detected in the supernatants and the IL-2 induced proliferative response is markedly reduced as compared with control cultures set up in the presence of an unrelated rat mAb. By contrast, the increased natural cytotoxicity is not affected. The 96-h culture of both BALB/c and C57BL/6 naSpc in the presence of 1000 U of IL-2 resulted in marked lymphocyte proliferation and generation of lymphokine-activated killer activity. The presence of An18 mAb strongly inhibited both functions. Similarly, when naSpc were stimulated with mitomycin C-inactivated allogeneic leukocytes in the presence of An18 mAb, the normal proliferative response and specific cytotoxicity were almost abolished, whereas the secretion of IL-2 was in no way affected. Lymphocytes recovered from 3-day cultures stimulated by IL-2 or allogeneic cells in the presence of An18 mAb displayed a decrease of the expression of the p55 chain of IL-2R, as shown by flow cytofluorimetry. Moreover, binding experiments with 125I-labeled IL-2 showed that lymphocytes from allostimulated cultures set up in the presence of An18 mAb display a decrased number of low affinity and almost no high affinity IL-2R as compared with control cultures. These data show that endogenous IFN-γ plays an obligatory role for the de novo induction of cytolytic acitivity in lymphokine-activated killer cells and CTL, most probably by affecting the membrane expression of high affinity IL-2R.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2831-2836
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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