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Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:210726. doi: 10.1155/2013/210726. Epub 2013 Oct 23.

Evaluation of NK cell function by flowcytometric measurement and impedance based assay using real-time cell electronic sensing system.

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Department of Biomedical Science, Graduate School, Catholic University of Korea, 505 Banpo-Dong, Seocho-Ku, Seoul 137-701, Republic of Korea.


Although real-time cell electronic sensing (RT-CES) system-based natural killer (NK) cytotoxicity has been introduced, it has not been evaluated using human blood samples. In present study, we measured flowcytometry based assay (FCA) and RT-CES based NK cytotoxicity and analyzed degranulation activity (CD107a) and cytokine production. In 98 healthy individuals, FCA with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) at effector to target (E/T) ratio of 32 revealed 46.5 ± 2.6% cytolysis of K562 cells, and 23.5 ± 1.1% of NK cells showed increased degranulation. In RT-CES system, adherent NIH3T3 target cells were resistant to basal killing by PBMC or NK cells. NK cell activation by adding IL-2 demonstrated real-time dynamic killing activity, and lymphokine-activated PBMC (E/T ratio of 32) from 15 individuals showed 59.1 ± 6.2% cytotoxicity results after 4 hours incubation in RT-CES system. However, there was no significant correlation between FCA and RT-CES cytotoxicity. After K562 target cell stimulation, PBMC produced profound proinflammatory and immunoregulatory cytokines/chemokines including IL-2, IL-8, IL-10, MIP-1 α β , IFN- γ , and TNF- α , and cytokine/chemokine secretion was related to flowcytometry-based NK cytotoxicity. These data suggest that RT-CES and FCA differ in sensitivity, applicability and providing information, and further investigations are necessary in variable clinical conditions.

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