HNK-1+ and HNK-1- lymphocytes from human blood were sorted with a fluorescence-activated cell sorter and compared for their phenotypic and functional properties. The HNK-1+ cells exhibited virtually no response to either mitogens (PHA, Con A, and PWM) or allogeneic cells, because the 3H-thymidine uptake for HNK-1+ cells was only 1 to 3% of that for HNK-1- cells. On the other hand, the HNK-1- cells responded efficiently to these stimuli and acquired a potent killing activity against K562 and other target cells after stimulation. The proliferating lymphoblasts did not acquire the HNK-1 antigen. These activated HNK-1- cells had a wider spectrum of spontaneous cytotoxicity than did HNK-1+ cells against 12 different target cells. Two distinct populations of effector cells for spontaneous killing can thus be distinguished on the basis of HNK-1 antigen expression. The classically defined NK cells are HNK-1+, whereas effector cells activated by either mitogens or allogeneic cells are HNK-1-. The HNK-1+ cells were not generated from the pool of HNK-1- cells under any of the culture conditions tested. The NK cells defined by the HNK-1 antibody are thus a functionally distinct population of cells. Although some HNK-1+ cells may also express T cell-associated antigens and sheep erythrocyte receptors, they lack some important functional properties ascribed to T cells.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1982|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy