Send to

Choose Destination
Cancer Detect Prev. 1988;12(1-6):431-8.

Circadian variations of interferon-induced enhancement of human natural killer (NK) cell activity.

Author information

Dipartimento di Biomedicina, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy.


We searched for circadian changes in the enhancement of the NK activity after exposure to IFN-gamma of peripheral blood mononuclear (PBM) cells obtained serially throughout the 24-h cycle. In August-October 1986, blood was drawn from 7 healthy, diurnally active and nocturnally resting male volunteers (22-34 yr) at 4-h intervals for 24 h starting at 08:00. PBM cells were immediately separated and assayed for NK cell activity, using K 562 cultured cells as a target in a 4-h 51Cr release assay after prior incubation for 20 h with buffer or 300 IU rIFN-gamma. Circadian variations of the spontaneous NK cell cytotoxicity were apparent; the activity was at its maximum at the end of the night or in the early morning and then declined in the afternoon. The 24-h rhythmic pattern was validated with statistical significance by the Cosinor method (p less than 0.02; acrophase 04:22). Maximum enhancement by IFN-gamma was attained in the second part of the night or in the early morning, i.e. in phase with the peak of the spontaneous NK cell activity. A significant circadian rhythm of the percent increase above control levels was validated by the Cosinor method (p less than 0.01; acrophase 04:03). Our findings may be of relevance to a better understanding of the mechanisms of control of human NK activity and warrant consideration as an approach to improve the effectiveness of time-qualified immunotherapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center