Surface markers of human lymphokine-activated killer cells and their precursors. Analysis at the population and clonal level

S. Ferrini, L. Moretta, G. Pantaleo, A. Moretta

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Lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) activity was first analyzed on PBL populations fractionated on the basis of the expression of T11 or T3 antigen. LAK cell precursors were found to be present in both T11+ and T11- populations, but only in the T3- cell fraction. The generation of LAK activity in highly purified T3- populations of PBL was not accompanied by expression of T3 antigen during a 5-day culture period. LAK activity was next analyzed at the level of limiting dilution clonal microcultures. T11+T3- and T11+T3+ cells, cloned under optimal culture conditions, gave a frequency of proliferating cells of approximately 1 cell in 1.25 for T11+T3+ and 1 cell in 10 for T11+T3- cells. Clones were screened for their ability to lyse fresh ovarian carcinoma cells and K562 target cells. The majority of LAK clones were derived from the T11+T3- cells; moreover, most of the clones derived from these cells displayed LAK activity. Clones displaying LAK activity lysed a panel of fresh or cultured tumor target cells, but failed to lyse PHA-activated lymphoblasts. Surface marker analysis indicated that all the clones had maintained the original T11/T3 phenotype. Whereas 2 T3+ selected LAK clones expressed the T8+T4- phenotype, only 1 out of 9 T3- clones was T8+T4-, all the others lacking both T4 and T8 antigens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-24
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1987


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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