Clinical & Experimental Metastasis

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 13–25 | Cite as

The in vivo clearance of Ha-ras transformants by natural killer cells

  • P. W. Johnson
  • J. Stankova
  • D. Dexter
  • J. C. Roder


The experiments in this study were designed to test the hypothesis that natural killer (NK) cells play a role in host surveillance against early neoplastic changes in the malignant process. C3H 10T1/2 mouse fibroblasts were transfected with a pSV2-neo plasmid vector which contains EJ, the mutated c-Ha-ras, regulated by its own promoter. Control cells were transfected with pSV2-neo alone and did not contain the ras gene. Oncogene-transfected cells were compared with control cells for lung colony formation following tail vein injection into C3H mice. Intravenous injection of ras-transfected 10T1/2 cells induced marked lung colony formation in vivo, whereas C3H 10T1/2 parental lines or 10T1/2 cells transfected with pSV2-neo alone induced no lung colonies in C3H mice. The colonising potential of ras transfectants could be decreased by augmentation of NK activity by injection of polyinosinic cytidylic acid and increased by depletion of NK effectors with anti-asialo GM1. Experiments with beige mice demonstrated that the mortality of syngeneic, NK-deficient C3H-bg/bg mice injected with ras tranfectants was significantly greater than similarly treated NK-normal C3H-+/bg littermate controls. The results support the view that NK cells are capable in vivo of recognizing early defined stages in the neoplastic process initiated by oncogenes.


Natural Killer Natural Killer Cell Natural Killer Activity Tail Vein Injection Beige Mouse 
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Copyright information

© Taylor & Francis Ltd 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. W. Johnson
    • 1
  • J. Stankova
    • 1
  • D. Dexter
    • 2
  • J. C. Roder
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Immunology and Medical GeneticsUniversity of Toronto, and The Mount Sinai Hospital Research InstituteToronto, OntarioCanada
  2. 2.Department of PathologyQueen's UniversityKingstonCanada

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