An Investigation of the Role of Soluble Cytotoxic Factors and Reactive Oxygen Intermediates in Lysis by NK Cells

  • Elizabeth A. Wayner
  • Colin G. Brooks
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 187)


The mechanism (s) by which cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) and natural killer (NK) cells lyse sensitive target cells is one of the basic questions in immunology that has remained unanswered. In the last 2– years, two hypotheses concerning the mechanism of cytolysis by NK cells have attracted considerable attention. According to the first hypothesis, a stable soluble cytotoxin (NKCF) is released by NK cells during their interaction with target cells, and this factor acting alone is capable of target cell lysis (Wright and Bonavida, 1982; 1983). In the second hypothesis, a crucial role for reactive oxygen intermediates (ROI) was suggested by the observation of luminol chemiluminescence (CL) during interaction between NK-enriched populations and target cells (Roder et al., 1982), and the inhibition of lysis by superoxide dismutase (SOD; Roder et al., 1982), or hydroxyl radical (OH.) scavengers (Suthanthiran et al., 1984). Whether the ROI directly inflicted damage on the target cells, as is the case in some macro phage/neutrophil cytocidal systems (Nathan et al., 1979a; b), was unclear.


Natural Killer Natural Killer Cell Natural Killer Activity Reactive Oxygen Intermediate Peritoneal Exudate Cell 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth A. Wayner
    • 1
  • Colin G. Brooks
    • 1
  1. 1.Basic ImmunologyFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA

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