Reactivity of Cultured Mouse Natural Killer (NK) Cells Against Normal Non-Neoplastic Cells

  • C. Riccardi
  • G. Migliorati
  • L. Frati
  • F. Guadagni
  • E. Bonmassar
  • R. B. Herberman


In the last few years much interest has evolved in the study of natural reactivity (1). Studies from many laboratories have demonstrated that cells from different lymphoid tissues, including spleen and peripheral blood, show a spontaneous reactivity against neoplastic cells (2). This spontaneous reactivity, mediated by NK lymphocytes, has been shown to play a major role in the rapid elimination in vivo of neoplastic as well as of normal non-neoplastic targets including syngeneic bone marrow, thymocytes and fibroblasts (3–4). This reactivity directed against normal cells suggest an autocytotoxic function of NK effectors which could be involved in the homeostatic control of growth and differentiation of normal tissues (5–6). Also in vitro experiments showed some spontaneous reactivity against 51Cr-labelled non-neoplastic cells, but in this case it was not possible to obtain high cytotoxic levels of reactivity, comparable to those found against neoplastic targets (7–8). This fact is probably due to the low frequency of NK cells able to recognize “self” structures as targets. More recently it has been shown that it is possible to cultivate in vitro splenocytes of normal mice in the presence of T-cell-growth-factor (TCGF) and that these cultures generate lymphocytes with NK cell-like activity (9–10).


Cytotoxic Activity Spleen Cell Peritoneal Exudate Cell Culture Spleen Cell Natural Killer Lymphocyte 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Riccardi
    • 1
  • G. Migliorati
    • 1
  • L. Frati
    • 2
  • F. Guadagni
    • 1
  • E. Bonmassar
    • 2
  • R. B. Herberman
    • 3
  1. 1.Inst.of PharmacologyUniv.of PerugiaItaly
  2. 2.Inst.of General PathologyUniv.of RomeItaly
  3. 3.Frederik Cancer CenterNCI, NIH, BRMFrederikUSA

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