The ability of adherent peritoneal cells (APC) to inhibit murine natural killer (NK) cell activity was examined. Nylon wool-nonadherent splenic effector cells were incubated overnight with or without different numbers of APC. NK activity was then measured against YAC-1 in a 4-hr 51Cr-release cytotoxicity assay. Proteose peptone-elicited or unstimulated resident APC from normal mice markedly suppressed NK activity of splenic effector cells in the presence or absence of exogenously added interferon. The suppression was dependent on the number of APC added with 10% APC, relative to the number of effector cells, resulting in a greater than 65% inhibition of cytotoxicity. The effector phase of cytotoxicity was not the target of the suppressor cells, because APC did not suppress NK activity when they were present only during the cytotoxicity assay. The addition of APC to alloimmune cytotoxic T cells under similar conditions resulted in no inhibition of cytotoxicity. Both syngeneic and allogeneic APC suppressed NK activity, but several murine macrophage-like cell lines lacked this property. In contrast to APC, incubation of effector cells with adherent spleen cells from normal mice resulted in no inhibition of NK activity. APC from mice injected with C. parvum were less inhibitory for NK activity than normal resident APC. In contrast, C. parvum APC suppressed concanavalin A-induced lymphoproliferation and were directly cytotoxic to tumor target cells in vitro, whereas normal APC lacked these properties. The results indicate that the peritoneum of untreated mice contains suppressor cells that can inhibit the in vitro maintenance and IFN-mediated augmentation of NK activity. In addition, these results indicate a broader spectrum of immune reactivities regulated by APC and suggest that, depending on their level of activation, APC can preferentially inhibit different immune functions.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.