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Oncol Rep. 2002 Mar-Apr;9(2):427-31.

IL-12 or IL-15, unlike IL-2, does not interact with histamine in augmenting cytotoxicity of splenocytes against melanoma cells and YAC-1 cells.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, Center of Biostructure, 02-004 Warsaw, Poland.


It has been suggested that histamine by its ability to downregulate the production of macrophage-derived reactive oxygen species might effectively potentiate the cytotoxic activity of cytokine-stimulated NK cells. Histamine thus reverses negative regulation of NK cells treated with IL-2 and IFN-alpha in the presence of macrophages. We confirm that histamine potently enhances cytotoxic activity of IL-2-stimulated NK cell-enriched splenocytes admixed with macrophages against B16F10 melanoma cells and YAC-1 cells. This stimulation results in production of high amounts of INF-gamma and TNF-alpha. Interestingly, IL-15 by itself promotes production of reactive oxygen species. Although histamine decreased reactive oxygen species production from the cultures of IL-15-stimulated NK cell-enriched splenocytes admixed with macrophages, it did not potentiate the cytotoxicity of IL-15. Further, we demonstrate that histamine-mediated potentiation of cytotoxicity is not applicable to IL-12, another potent activator of NK cell activity.

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