Human blood mononuclear cells were separated into Leu-11+7-NK, Leu-11-7+, and Leu-11-7-T cells by means of a combination of the Percoll gradient method and C-mediated cytolysis using mAb. When purified Leu-11+7-NK, Leu-11-7+, and Leu-11-7-T cells were cultured with rIL 2 (500 U/ml) for 6 days in a medium supplemented with 10% FCS, Leu-11+7-NK cells responded at the maximum level and Leu-11-7+ cells responded moderately as shown by both cell-proliferation response and cytotoxic activity generated. On the other hand, Leu-11-7-T cells did not respond at all to rIL-2. However, when Leu-11-7-T cells were cultured with rIL-2 in a medium supplemented with 10% autologous serum, they showed considerable responsiveness to rIL-2. In addition, much greater response to Leu-11-7-T cells were produced by the addition of monocytes. Monocyte cytokines, neither IL 1, IFN-gamma, TNF, nor their combination were able to substitute for monocytes in the induction culture. In contrast, the response level of Leu-11+7- NK cells remained unchanged irrespective of supplementation with autologous serum to medium or the addition of monocytes to the culture. These results indicated that culture conditions in the experiments significantly affected the results as to determination of lymphokine-activated killer cell precursors, especially the result pertaining to the conversion of T lymphocytes to lymphokine-activated killer cells. Under appropriate conditions, not only NK cells but also T cells are important precursors of lymphokine-activated killer cells.

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