Interleukin-2 (IL-2) augments natural killer (NK) activity as well as generating effector cells named lymphokine activated killer cells (LAK) which are capable of lysing a wide spectrum of target cells. A large body of evidence has been accumulated to evaluate the relationship between NK and LAK cells and conflicting results have been reported. Our study was addressed to further analyse this relationshp and in particular to investigate whether in a short incubation IL-2 is merely capable of augmenting the activity of pre-existing killer cells, or whether it can also promote the differentiation of precursor cells. Eighteen-hour culture of mouse spleen cells in human recombinant IL-2 induced a DNA-synthesis-independent generation of cytotoxic cells bearing an NK phenotype (aGM-1+, Thy1.2±, CD8-, CD4-). These were generated from precursor cells also bearing an NK phenotype, recovered either from low density Percoll fractions enriched in lytic cells with LGL morphology as well as from high density fractions devoid of LGL and cytotoxic activity.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Clinical and Experimental Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - 1989|
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