Natural Killer Cell Alloreactivity Against Acute Leukemia Blasts: The Level of Activity Depends on the Individual Target-Effector Pair
Natural killer (NK) cells appear to be involved in graft-versus-leukemia activity after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Since recent findings suggest that NK cells can exert specific activity against allogeneic leukocytes, we tested 10 subjects for differences in their NK and lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cell activity against 4 allogeneic leukemia cell targets and the cell line K562. Our results support the hypothesis that NK cells can react against allogeneic leukemia cells specifically. Only three of the donors demonstrated either generally high or low NK cell activity and none of the leukemias turned out to be principally resistant or sensitive towards NK cell-mediated lysis. Thus, most of the variance must be explained by specific NK cell/target cell interactions resulting in a complex pattern of high or low NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity. There was no clear correlation between lytic activity against a certain leukemia target and lysis of K562 or between lytic activity and the percentage of CD16- or CD56-positive cells. Future studies with larger data samples might allow the definition of distinct groups according to the pattern of alloreactivity observed. Our findings are of relevance for the application of allogeneic NK cells in the context of cellular immunotherapy for hematological malignancies.
KeywordsNatural Killer Natural Killer Cell Activity Leukemia Blast Lymphokine Activate Killer Lymphokine Activate Killer Cell
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