The incubation of murine splenocytes in recombinant interleukin 2 (RIL 2) gives rise to lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells that can lyse fresh, NK-resistant tumor cells but not normal cells in 4-hr 51Cr-release assays. Lysis by this IL 2-activated cell population was enhanced up to 100-fold by prior reaction of target cells with specific antisera reactive with antigens on the target cells. This antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) also resulted in lysis of fresh normal target cells, which are not usually susceptible to LAK lysis. The ADCC was evident after 24 hr of incubation of splenocytes in RIL 2, but peak lytic activity was reached after 3 to 4 days of incubation. The concentrations of RIL 2 needed for the in vitro activation of the effectors in order to attain maximal ADCC was between 100 and 3000 U/ml and parallel the IL 2 concentrations required to generate LAK cells. ADCC mediated by IL 2-activated splenocytes was completely blocked by anti-FcR monoclonal antibodies. Although antisera directed against MHC antigens were used in most experiments, anti-B16 monoclonal antibodies have also shown the ability to induce ADCC mediated by RIL 2-activated syngeneic and allogeneic cells. Treatment of the precursor splenocyte populations with anti-asialo GM1 and complement eliminated the direct LAK activity and the antibody-dependent cytotoxicity, suggesting that both direct and indirect tumor cell lysis may be caused by the same effector cell. ADCC mediated by LAK cell populations represents another possible mechanism for the in vivo therapeutic effects of these cells.

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