Killer cells (K cells) enriched from human blood mononuclear cells which mediate antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) were examined for surface markers. Sixty-seven percent of the E-rosette-negative, sIg-negative cells reacted with anti-T cell serum (AMT) previously shown to react with immunochemically defined T-cell antigens. Phytohemagglutinin induced 25% of K cells to express an E-rosette receptor. When these induced cells were isolated, greater than 98% reacted with AMT and 17% expressed the Fc receptor for IgG. Furthermore, they retained their functional capacity in ADCC. These findings demonstrate that an E-rosette receptor can be induced on human K cells. The data suggest the K-cell fraction included a population of thymus-dependent lymphocytes which can function as effector cells in ADCC.
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