Infiltrative and cytolytic activities of lymphokine-activated killer cells against a human glioma spheroid model

Iwasaki, K.; Kikuchi, H.; Miyatake, S.; Aoki, T.; Yamasaki, T.; Oda, Y.

Cancer Research 50(8): 2429-2436

1990


ISSN/ISBN: 0008-5472
PMID: 2317827
Document Number: 366492
In the present study, we investigated not only the cytotoxic effects of lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells on a tumor mass but also the ultrastructural cell-to-cell interaction between LAK effector cells and tumor cells during the cytolytic process within a three-dimensional solid tumor. A multicellular tumor spheroid of a human glioma cell line (U-251MG) was utilized as a solid tumor model. LAK cells were generated from peripheral blood lymphocytes of a healthy donor after stimulation by interleukin 2. Multicellular tumor spheroids with diameters of 500 microns were cocultivated with either LAK cells or nonactivated peripheral blood lymphocytes at the effector:target cell ratio of 20:1, and then time-sequential kinetic, morphological, and ultrastructural analyses were carried out. Morphological and kinetic studies showed that LAK cells directly infiltrated toward the inner areas of multicellular tumor spheroids and caused a progressive tumor destruction. In contrast, peripheral blood lymphocytes hardly exhibited such activities. Ultrastructurally, it was found that the infiltrating LAK effector cells were composed of heterogeneous subpopulations, T-like cells, and large granular lymphocyte-like cells. Both types of lymphocytes tightly adhered to the tumor cells and showed typical morphological features of killing them.

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