Thymic origin of some natural killer cells: clonal proliferation of human CD3-16+ cells from CD3-4-8- thymocyte precursors requires the presence of H9 leukemic cells

Maria Cristina Mingari, Alessandro Poggi, Rosanna Bellomo, Nicoletta Pella, Lorenzo Moretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purified CD3-4- thymocyte populations were cultured in the presenceof interleukin-2 (IL-2) and peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) and/or tumor cell lines as a source of irradiated feeder cells. Maximal cell proliferation was obtained in the presence of a mixture of H9 leukemic cells and normal PBL. More importantly, under these culture conditions 30%-50% of these cells were found to express CD16 surface antigen after 1-2 weeks of culture. Similar proportions of CD16+ cells could be detected in CD3-4- thymocyte populations that had been further depleted of CD16+ cells. Cloning of CD3-4-16- thymocytes under limiting dilution conditions resulted, in the presence of H9 cells, in more than 50% of CD16+ clones (cloning efficiency 3%-8%). Since some of the surface CD3- clones expressed cytoplasmic CD3 antigen, it has been possible to identify four distinct phenotypic groups of clones (CD16+ cyCD3+, CD16+ cyCD3-, CD16- cyCD3+, CD16- cyCD3-). Independently of their phenotype, all thymus-derived CD3- clones expressed a strong cytolytic activity against natural killer (NK)-sensitive and NK-resistant tumour target cells. In addition, following stimulation with phytohemagglutinin (PHA) and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (or PHA alone) all clones released interferon-γ and tumour necrosis factor-α, but not IL-2. Taken together, our data provide evidence that cells which share their phenotypic and functional properties with CD3- CD16+ NK cells can be derived from thymic precursors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-178
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical & Laboratory Research
Volume21
Issue number2-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1992

Keywords

  • CD3 CD16 cells
  • CD348 precursors
  • H9 leukaemic cells
  • Natural killer cells
  • Thymic origin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry

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