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Scand J Immunol. 1989 Jul;30(1):31-7.

Natural killer cells and cytotoxic T cells induce DNA fragmentation in both human and murine target cells in vitro.

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  • 1Division of Cell Biology, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra.


DNA fragmentation induced by cytolytic lymphocytes in human erythromyeloid cell line K562 and murine T lymphoma cell line YAC-1 was investigated by means of agarose gel electrophoresis. Murine natural killer (NK) and cytotoxic T (Tc) cells induced DNA fragmentation in YAC-1 cells, with the fragments being approximately multiples of 180 bp. More significantly, murine NK cells can induce a similar pattern of DNA fragmentation in human K562 cells. Therefore, cytolytic lymphocytes can induce apoptosis or programmed cell death in human target cells.

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