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Cell Immunol. 1996 Aug 1;171(2):186-99.

Role of natural killer cells on engraftment of human lymphoid cells and on metastasis of human T-lymphoblastoid leukemia cells in C57BL/6J-scid mice and in C57BL/6J-scid bg mice.

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Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine.


The severe combined immunodeficiency (scid) mutation was backcrossed onto the C57BL/6J strain background in order to study the role of natural killer (NK) cells in rejection of normal and malignant human lymphohematopoietic cells. C57BL/6J-scid/scid mice showed severe loss of mature T and B cells accompanied by increased percentages of NK1.1+ cells and myeloid cells. Although little or no serum immunoglobulin was detectable prior to 2 months of age, all mice tested had circulating immunoglobulin by 7.5 months of age. C57BL/6J-scid/scid mice had markedly elevated levels of both hemolytic complement activity and NK cell activity compared with C57BL/6J - (+/+) controls. Weekly injections with anti-NK1.1 antibody resulted in elimination of NK cell activity in C57BL/6J-scid/scid mice throughout 8 weeks of treatment. Although human CEM-C7 T lymphoblastoid tumor cells grew slowly in unmanipulated C57BL/6J-scid/scid mice, anti-NK1.1 treatment resulted in increased growth accompanied by metastasis of human lymphoma cells to the brain, liver, and kidney. In contrast to T lymphoblastoid tumor cells, nonmalignant human peripheral blood mononuclear cells engrafted at low levels in anti-NK1.1-treated as well as in unmanipulated C57BL/6-scid/scid mice. Backcrossing of the beige (bgJ) mutation onto the C57BL/6-scid/scid genetic stock caused decreased NK cell activity accompanied by granulocyte defects. C57BL/6-scid/scid bgJ)/bgJ) mice showed metastasis of human CEM-C7 cells to the brain and other organs but supported only low levels of engraftment with human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. These results demonstrate that NK cells, in the absence of an adaptive immune system, function in resistance to metastasis of human lymphomas and suggest that innate immune factors in addition to NK cell function mediate resistance to engraftment of normal human peripheral blood leukocytes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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