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Exp Hematol. 1988 Sep;16(8):712-7.

Characterization of natural killer cells cultured from human bone marrow cells.

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Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


Human bone marrow (BM) cells, depleted of nylon wool-adherent cells, T cells, and natural killer (NK) cells, were cultured in medium containing recombinant interleukin 2 (rIL2). After 21 or 24 days in culture, numerous lymphoid cells with multiple azurophilic granules and a morphology similar to large granular lymphocytes (LGL) were found. Two-color analysis of surface phenotype showed many of these cells to be NKH1-positive and a limited number of cells had other NK markers such as CD16, CD2, or CD8. The CD3 antigen was not coexpressed with NKH1. The cultured BM cells were cytotoxic for K562, Daudi, and Raji cell lines. The NKH1+, CD2-, CD3-, CD16- cells were sorted and, in addition to having the LGL morphology, were found to be cytotoxic for K562 cells (NK [K562]). The generation of NK(K562) activity was significantly suppressed by 5-bromodeoxyuridine plus ultraviolet light treatment, indicating that DNA synthesis is required. These experiments suggest that the described culture conditions allow differentiation of progenitor cells, into immature, but functionally active, NK cells.

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