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Int J Cancer. 1997 Feb 7;70(4):450-60.

Natural cell-mediated cytotoxicity (NCMC) against NK-sensitive tumours in vitro by murine spleen Ly-6C+ natural T cells.

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Discipline of Surgical Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Science, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.


Ly-6C+ cells constitute 13 +/- 3% of freshly isolated (CBA x C57BL/6)F1 mouse spleen leukocytes. Three distinct populations were identified: CD3 epsilon +NK-1.1- conventional T cells (6%), CD3 epsilon -NK-1.1- granulocytes (5%) and CD3 epsilon +NK-1.1+ T cells (approximately 2%). The CD3 epsilon +NK-1.1+ cells displayed a predominantly large granular leukocyte morphology and were the only Ly-6C+ cell subset identified by MAb 2B6-F2 to spontaneously lyse the NK-sensitive YAC-1 tumour in vitro. On further phenotypic analysis, these cells co-expressed high levels of TCRV beta 8.1/8.2 and CD11b, moderate levels of CD90 and low levels of CD4 or CD8. The removal of CD4+ and CD8+ cells prior to Ly-6C+ cell sorting showed that it was the CD4-CD8- double-negative (DN) CD3 epsilon +NK-1.1+ T-cell subset which was responsible for killing YAC-1. These results indicate that we have identified a DN Ly-6C+ subset of the recently designated NK-1.1+TCR alpha beta low natural T (NT) cells, which are capable of natural cell-mediated cytotoxicity (NCMC) against the NK-sensitive YAC-I tumour in vitro. Additionally, these cells mediated the in vitro killing of 2 further NK-sensitive tumours, murine B16 melanoma and human Jurkat T lymphoma. YAC-1 and Jurkat expressed Fas and were susceptible to anti-Fas MAb or rhuman Fas ligand (rhFasL)-induced lysis. Furthermore, anti-human Fas MAb M3 was shown to block sorted Ly-6C+ splenocyte in vitro killing of Jurkat. In contrast, B16 did not express cell-surface Fas and was resistant to anti-Fas MAb-induced lysis. Taken together, these results show that not only do Ly-6C+ NT cells kill NK-sensitive tumours in vitro but they mediate this activity via multiple cytotoxic mechanisms including Fas.

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