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Modulation of natural killer cytotoxicity by muramyl dipeptide and trehalose dimycolate incorporated in squalane droplets

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The effect on natural killer (NK) cytotoxicity of splenic cells from BALB/c mice pretreated i. v. with squalane-in-water preparations of muramyl dipeptide (MDP), trehalose dimycolate (TDM), or the combination of MDP-plus-TDM was investigated. MDP or TDM augmented the NK cytotoxicity which peaked 48 h after the pretreatment whereas the combination of MDP and TDM induced an inhibition of the NK activity. Infection with influenza virus, a potent stimulator of NK cells, after the pretreatment with biological response modifiers resulted in a markedly enhanced NK activity on day 2 in MDP and control groups. Mice pretreated with TDM or the combination of MDP and TDM showed only moderate NK activity which peaked on day 3 after influenza infection. The NK activity was susceptible to asialo GM1 and complement treatment. The cytotoxicity of MDP-plus-TDM cells could be significantly enhanced after treatment with anti-macrophage monoclonal antibody and complement. NK activity induced by MDP or TDM was reduced by mixing MDP-plus-TDM cells. Addition of adherent cell-depleted MDP-plus-TDM suspension to MDP or TDM cells had a NK restorative effect. Splenic cells from mice pretreated 2 days earlier with MDP or TDM, but not MDP-plus-TDM, generated enhanced levels of luminol-dependent chemiluminescence.

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Correspondence to K. Noel Masihi.

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Masihi, K.N., Lange, W. & Rohde-Schulz, B. Modulation of natural killer cytotoxicity by muramyl dipeptide and trehalose dimycolate incorporated in squalane droplets. Cancer Immunol Immunother 24, 19–24 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00199828

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  • Influenza
  • Natural Killer
  • Natural Killer Cell
  • Influenza Virus
  • Trehalose