A thymic lymphoblastoid cell line derived from a New Zealand Black mouse produces murine leukemia virus (MuLV) and was used as a target in model systems for the in vitro study of antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). Several human lymphoblastoid cell lines were investigated as potential effector cells. The most promising (Raji cells) bound to antibody-coated target cells but caused only modest levels of ADCC at 25:1 effector-to-target cell ratio with substantial lysis in the absence of antiserum. Human peripheral lymphocytes were active as effector cells in ADCC at a 5:1 ratio and produced no lysis in the absence of antibody. These cells were used to demonstrate that high dilutions of rabbit antisera to MuLV antigens p30, p15, p12, and p10 were capable of mediating lysis of MuLV-producing target cells but not of a virus-negative murine cell line.
A murine antiserum to Thy 1.2 and three caprine antisera to MuLV antigens that were active in complement-mediated cytotoxicity functioned poorly in inducing ADCC; however, rabbit antisera to similar antigens were 16- to 512-fold more efficient in cell-mediated than in complement lysis. The inefficiency of goat antisera was not due to shedding of cell surface antigens or generation of blocking factors but rather to lack of lytic interaction of antibody-coated targets with the effector cells.