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Interferon and butyrate treatment leads to a decreased sensitivity of NK target cells to lysis by homologous but not by heterologous effector cells.


Human K-562 and HHMS cells were pretreated with human recombinant interferon (IFN)-gamma and used as targets in NK assays against human and murine effector cells. A protective effect against NK lysis was observed only in the homologous assay, whereas no change or even a slight increase in NK sensitivity against heterologous effector cells was found. In cold target inhibition experiments IFN-treatment of K-562 cells led to a decrease in their capacity to act as competitors in the homologous NK assay, leaving their inhibitory capacity unaltered in the heterologous assay. In accordance with results observed using human NK targets, murine YAC-1 cells treated with mouse recombinant IFN-gamma did not lose their susceptibility to human NK cells. However, they were markedly less susceptible to lysis mediated by murine effectors. Butyrate, another compound causing decreased sensitivity of K-562 cells for human natural killing, also failed to reduce the susceptibility against murine NK cells. The results indicate that the NK-resistant tumor target phenotype caused by IFN or differentiation-inducing agents can only be detected by homologous but not by heterologous effector cells. This suggests that major differences exist between the inter- and intraspecies NK killing mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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