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Immunity. 1994 Aug;1(5):357-64.

Two distinct pathways of specific killing revealed by perforin mutant cytotoxic T lymphocytes.

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Laboratory of Cellular Immunology, Mitsubishi Kasei Institute of Life Sciences, Tokyo, Japan.


To study the contribution of putative perforin-independent mechanism in the antigen-specific target destruction by cytotoxic T lymphocytes CD8+ CTL lines were established from spleen cells of chimeric mice produced by injecting perforin (-/-) embryonic stem cells into blastocysts of RAG-2(-/-) mice. When tested on normal concanavalin A blasts, these perforin-deficient cytotoxic T lymphocyte lines were found to be capable of inducing antigen-specific target cell lysis accompanied by DNA degradation. In contrast, with target cells carrying a mutation in Fas molecule, perforin-independent cytotoxicity was not detectable. These data not only confirmed the primary role of perforin but simultaneously revealed a major contribution of a perforin-independent Fas-mediated pathway in antigen-specific cytolysis.

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