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We observed that lymphokine-activated T lymphocytes, obtained in short- and long-term cultures following stimulation with recombinant interleukin-2 (rIL-2), are resistant to cell-mediated cytotoxicity. In particular, lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells do not undergo self-lysis or lysis by alloreactive cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL), in line with recent reports concerning CTL clones. Similar findings were further confirmed in a lectin-dependent cell cytotoxicity assay. LAK cell lysis resistance was not due to an inability to recognize itself, since inactivated LAK cells used as cold competitors inhibited tumor cell lysis in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast, the addition on Day 0 of irradiated LAK cells or alloreactive CTL, as well as a CTL clone having LAK-like activity to rIL-2-stimulated cultures abrogated or strongly reduced LAK cell generation. Therefore, LAK cell precursors were most likely susceptible to the lytic activity of differentiated cytotoxic cells, as no inhibition was detected when cell to cell contact was prevented by using a diffusible chamber culture system. These findings, on the whole, suggest that the emergence of the lysis-resistant phenotype is most likely the result of a selective process occurring in vitro that leads to the elimination of lysis-susceptible lymphocytes present in culture.


Journal article


Cell Immunol

Publication Date





450 - 460


Animals, Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte, Cytotoxicity, Immunologic, Immunity, Cellular, Interleukin-2, Killer Cells, Natural, Lymphocyte Activation, Mice, Recombinant Proteins, T-Lymphocytes, Time Factors