Human clones with natural killer function can activate B cells and secrete B cell differentiation factors

Anna Vyakarnam, Malcolm K. Brenner, Joyce E. Reittie, Clare H. Houker, Peter J. Lachmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Large granular lymphocyte clones were prepared from normal human mononuclear cells. Seven clones were studied in detail. All had high cytotoxic activity against the natural killer (NK) cell target K562 and all were T11- and DR-positive but T4- and T8-negative: none released migration inhibitory factor, a characteristic of helper T cell clones. When these NK cell clones were co-cultured with autologous B cells in a 1:1 ratio, 4 of the 7 induced both IgM and IgG synthesis. Ig production could not be further enhanced by the addition of B cell differentiation factors. The cells stimulated included antigen-specific memory B cells, as the Ig induced contained specific antibody to an antigen, tetanus toxoid, to which the B cell donors had recently been immunized. Supernatants from the helper/NK clones contained B cell differentiation factors, and were able to induce IgG synthesis from the lymphoblastoid cell line CESS and from co-cultured T and B cells. However, NK clone supernatants, unlike the clones themselves, were not effective at inducing Ig synthesis from purified B cells. Instead it appears that NK clones first activate B cells and thus render them responsive to the factors that the clones secrete.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)606-610
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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