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Immunol Cell Biol 1996 Aug 01;744:365-73. doi: 10.1038/icb.1996.64.
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NK-like activity against allogeneic tumour cells demonstrated in the spleen of control and thymectomized Xenopus.

Horton TL , Ritchie P , Watson MD , Horton JD .

This paper addresses the issue of natural killer (NK) cell evolution by searching for NK-like activity in an amphibian representative, the immunologically well-characterized clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Using in vitro 6 h 51chromium release assays, we have shown that splenocyte effectors from early thymectomized (Tx) year-old frogs, but not from control siblings, are able to spontaneously lyse allogeneic thymus tumour cell lines that lack MHC antigen expression. Such lytic capacity can be readily induced in control Xenopus and elevated in Tx frogs by a single injection of tumour cells, with maximal splenocyte cytotoxicity occurring 3 days postinjection, the amount of 51Cr-release correlating directly with effector: target ratios. Splenocytes, even those from tumour-injected frogs, are unable to lyse allogeneic splenic lymphoblasts or erythrocyte targets, even when the latter are coated with IgY (the Xenopus IgG equivalent); moreover, we were unable to demonstrate any splenocyte-induced lysis of the human NK cell target K562. Lymphokine-activated killing (LAK) in Xenopus is suggested, since Tx splenocytes cultured in cytokine-rich medium (from concanavalin A-stimulated control splenocytes) display significantly elevated killing of allogeneic tumour targets. Flow cytometric analysis highlights the loss of T cell markers from the spleen of Tx frogs and reveals a variable staining pattern of both control and Tx splenocytes when treated with a mAb that binds to both fish non-specific cytotoxic cells and human NK cells. Prospects for identifying the cellular basis of NK-like activity in Xenopus are discussed in the light of these experiments.

PubMed ID: 8872188
Article link: Immunol Cell Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: ighx mhc1a myh6 tnfrsf10b