Feline cytotoxic large granular lymphocytes induced by recombinant human IL-2

M. B. Tompkins, V. F. Pang, P. A. Michaely, R. I. Feinmehl, E. J. Basgall, T. V. Baszler, J. F. Zachary, W. A A Tompkins

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1 Scopus citations


Large granular lymphocytes (LGL) have been characterized phenotypically and functionally as cytotoxic T lymphocytes, NK cells or lymphokine-activated killer cells. The most prominent morphologic feature of LGL is large cytoplasmic granules that are thought to contain the molecules responsible for cell lysis. In this study, we describe the morphologic and functional characteristics of IL-2-dependent cytotoxic lymphocytes derived from feline PBL. Stimulation of feline PBL with Con A followed by culturing in 50 U of gibbon monkey IL-2 human rIL-2 induced long term lymphocyte cultures. These lymphocytes are cytotoxic for the feline leukemia virus-induced T cell lymphoma (FL74), in a 4-h 51Cr release assay. All cell lines are either constitutively cytotoxic for FL74 cells, or cytotoxic in a lectin-dependent cell cytotoxic assay, the latter being a characteristic of low passage cultures. In contrast, no cell lines express self lysis or lysis for other lines. [3H]TdR uptake showed that 1 U of human rIL-2 produces a 50% maximal proliferative response by feline lymphocytes suggesting a high degree of homology between the ligand binding sites of feline and human IL-2R. Feline cytotoxic lymphocytes possess abundant cytoplasm containing large azurophilic granules characteristic of LGL. These granules are bound by a bilipid membrane and contain numerous smaller membrane-bound vesicles 50 to 60 nm in diameter. A model is proposed, whereby subsequent to binding of LGL to target cell the large granules fuse to the LGL plasma membrane and release the small vesicles into the binding pocket. The vesicles then transport the lytic molecules directly and selectively to the target cell membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)749-754
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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