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J Immunol Methods. 2000 May 26;239(1-2):35-44.

A novel method for the simultaneous assessment of natural killer cell conjugate formation and cytotoxicity at the single-cell level by multi-parameter flow cytometry.

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Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control/Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Sweden.


A flow cytometric assay for the combined measurement of cell-mediated cytotoxicity and conjugate formation has been developed. Cytolysis is detected by propidium iodide uptake. Target cells, effector cells and conjugates between targets and effectors are separated by post-culture immunophenotyping and their scatter profiles. Pre-assay staining of cells is thus not required. Each cluster of cells can be further examined at the single-cell level by simultaneously performed additional immunophenotyping. Two applications were established: the assessment of NK cell activity against K562 cells and the evaluation of LAK cell cytotoxicity against both K562 and Daudi cells. A comparison with the standard 51Cr release assay for the detection of NK cytotoxicity showed that the two assays were strongly correlated, but the sensitivity of the flow cytometric assay was significantly higher.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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