Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2002 Mar;51(1):1-8. Epub 2001 Dec 12.

Killing activity of human umbilical cord blood-derived TCRValpha24(+) NKT cells against normal and malignant hematological cells in vitro: a comparative study with NK cells or OKT3 activated T lymphocytes or with adult peripheral blood NKT cells.

Author information

Department of Hematology and Rheumatology, Tokai University School of Medicine, Bohseidai, Isehara, Kanagawa, Japan 259-1193.



We aimed to determine the effects of human umbilical cord blood (UCB)-derived natural killer T (NKT) cells as immunological effectors against hematological malignancies, as well as auto- or allo-dendritic cells (DCs) or EB transformed cell lines (EBCLs).


TCRValpha24(+) Vbeta11(+) UCB- or PB-NKT cells were isolated by sorting and activated by alpha-galactosylceramide-pulsed autologous DCs. UCB-NK cells were induced from CD34(+) cells by stem cell factor plus IL-15. UCB-T cells were primarily activated by anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody. All those effectors were cultured with IL-2 (100 U/ml), and their cytotoxic activities were evaluated by (51)Cr-release assay. UCB-NKT cells were cultured with IL-12, IL-18 or higher dose of IL-2 (1000 U/ml), and again tested for the cytotoxicity against selected targets.


UCB-NKT cells exhibited a pattern of killing activity against various hematological malignancies similar to that of UCB-NK cells, but could not kill K562, which was a vulnerable target for NK cells. The level of activity was quite similar to that of PB-NKT cells. In contrast, OKT-3-activated UCB-T lymphocytes showed a stronger and wider spectrum of killing compared with UCB-NK or NKT cells. IL-12, IL-18 or a higher dose of IL-2 upregulated the activity; however several targets, including fresh leukemic cells, still remained resistant. NKT cells killed auto- or allo-DCs at a level similar to that of T cells, but could not kill allo-EBCLs, which were efficiently killed by T cells. While NK cells showed only marginal or no killing against DC or EBCLs.


The anti-cancer activity of human NKT cells depends on the concentrations or the combination of Th1-cytokines. Basically, those cells might not be contributing to the immune surveillance of hematological malignancies, as shown by a relatively low cytotoxicity against malignant cells, together with the quite strong killing against auto-DCs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center