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Interferon-α induction of lymphocytes containing parallel tubular structures

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The induction by IFN-α in peripheral blood lymphocytes of parallel tubular structures (PTS) and/or electron-dense granules occurring in a minority of peripheral blood lymphocytes was examined. IFN reportedly augments natural killer (NK) cell activity of large granular lymphocytes (LGL); these cells contain PTS and/or electron-dense granules. Normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells were incubated with IFN-α and surface antigen expression was measured by means of indirect immunofluorescence and, at the ultrastructural level, using gold labelled monoclonal antibodies. Surface antigen reactivity with the monoclonal antibodies OKT 3, 4, 8 and Anti-Leu-7 (HNK-1) showed no difference between the IFN-α incubation and non-IFN-α groups. However, electron microscope investigation revealed significant absolute increases in the percentage of OKT 8+ and Anti-Leu-7+ cells which were PTS-positive after IFN-α treatment compared with the control groups. The cytotoxicity assay using the K 562 cell line showed enhanced lytic activity. Our results suggest that cells coexpressing the OKT 8 and Leu-7 antigens may be responsible for a minor proportion of the increase in PTS but that IFN-α mainly induces PTS and/or associated structures in cells which express the OKT 8+ antigen. These PTS+/OKT 8+ cells may contribute to enhanced cell cytotoxicity.

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Correspondence to Ruud M. Halie.

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Hoogeveen, Y.L., Smit, J.W., Blom, N.R. et al. Interferon-α induction of lymphocytes containing parallel tubular structures. Blut 56, 55–61 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00633462

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Key words

  • IFN-α
  • Lymphocyte ultrastructure
  • Subpopulations