The proliferative responses of natural killer (NK) cells to 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), which directly activates protein kinase c (PKC), and to the Ca2+ ionophores A23817 and ionomycin, known to enhance the intracellular calcium, have been investigated. Highly purified large granular lymphocytes (LGL) were cultured for 12-30 hr in the presence of TPA, ionomycin, or A23817. TPA alone (1-20 ng/ml) triggered rapid LGL proliferation, whereas the calcium ionophores were ineffective. The addition of either calcium ionophore to suboptimal doses or TPA (0.1 - 0.5 ng/ml) resulted in a synergistic effect on LGL proliferation. Under these conditions high levels of IL-2 activity were released by the LGL. Phenotypic analysis revealed the rapid loss of the Fcγ receptors (CD16) on LGL and the induction of the expression of IL-2 (CD25) and transferrin receptors and of HLA-DR, but not of CD3. Removal of extracellular Ca2+ by addition of EGTA at the beginning of the culture greatly depressed LGL proliferation and IL-2 production, and blocked phenotypic changes, such as the expression of Tac antigen. Finally, progression to the proliferative phase of LGL, activated by TPA alone or with ionomycin, was completely abrogated by a hyperimmune anti-IL-2 antiserum.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology