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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Mechanisms involved in NK resistance induced by interferon-gamma.

Human tumor cell lines were treated with interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and then used as target cells in NK assays to measure their ability to form conjugates and stimulate the production of NK cytotoxic factors (NKCF) and to determine their susceptibility to NKCF lysis. K562 and cell lines RS1, RS3, RS7, CAC, and CAP2, obtained from solid brain tumors, were used as targets, and peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) from normal donors were used as effector cells. IFN-gamma-treated cell lines had a decreased susceptibility to NKCF lysis and a decreased ability to induce the release of these factors without affecting target-effector cell binding. These results were not due to changes in HLA class I antigen expression, given that the level of HLA class I antigens on the tumor cell lines was not affected, the only exception being K562. In an attempt to further clarify the possible influence of HLA class I expression on K562, IFN-gamma-pretreated K562 cells were separated into HLA class I positive and HLA class I negative subsets for the NK assays. The results showed that both populations behaved similarly upon target-effector conjugate formation, whereas the HLA class I positive population showed a reduced susceptibility to lysis by NK cells and NKCF. Thus, these results establish that NK resistance induced by IFN-gamma is mediated by blocking the target cell's ability to activate NK cell triggering and release of NKCF and by blocking its susceptibility to lysis by these factors. This analysis helps to clarify not only the NK process but also the controversial regulatory effect of IFN in NK lysis.[1]


  1. Mechanisms involved in NK resistance induced by interferon-gamma. Ramirez, R., Solana, R., Carracedo, J., Alonso, M.C., Peña, J. Cell. Immunol. (1992) [Pubmed]
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