The present study shows that recombinant interleukin 2 (IL-2) purified to homogeneity induces a rapid and potent enhancement of spontaneous cytotoxicity of human peripheral blood lymphocytes. The cells mediating cytotoxicity after 18-h treatment with IL-2 have surface markers of natural killer (NK) cells and are generated from the peripheral blood subset containing spontaneous cytotoxic cells. A parallel production of gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) is induced by recombinant IL-2 (rIL-2), and NK cells appear to be the major producer cells, whereas T cells are unable to produce IFN-gamma under these experimental conditions. However, the kinetics of the enhancement of cytotoxicity are faster than those of IFN-gamma production, and monoclonal anti-IFN-gamma antibodies do not suppress this effect, making it unlikely that the IFN-gamma produced is responsible for the enhancement. The enhancement of NK cell activity induced by rIL-2 precedes any proliferative response of the lymphocytes, which is instead observed in longer-term cultures of both NK and T cells.
Response of resting human peripheral blood natural killer cells to interleukin 2.
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G Trinchieri, M Matsumoto-Kobayashi, S C Clark, J Seehra, L London, B Perussia; Response of resting human peripheral blood natural killer cells to interleukin 2.. J Exp Med 1 October 1984; 160 (4): 1147–1169. doi: https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.160.4.1147
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