Phenotypic heterogeneity and cytotoxic activity of Con A and IL-2-stimulated cultures of mouse Thy-1+ epidermal cells

J. L. Nixon-Fulton, J. Hackett, P. R. Bergstresser, V. Kumar, R. E. Tigelaar

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52 Scopus citations


Short-term and long-term cultures of mouse Thy-1+ epidermal cells (EC) were established in order to characterize their phenotypic and functional properties. Concanavalin A (Con A) and Interleukin 2 (IL-2) stimulated Thy-1+ EC mediated non-MHC directed cytotoxicity preferentially against the NK-sensitive target, YAC-1 vs the NK-resistant target, P815; these cells also mediated antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), indicating the presence of IgG-FcR on at least some of them. Freshly isolated Thy-1+ EC failed to lyse YAC-1 targets; however, this activity was observed after 9 d of culture with Con A and IL-2. While dendritic Thy-1+ EC, in vivo, do not express the T-cell markers, L3T4 and Lyt-2, short-term cultured cells displayed phenotypic heterogeneity with small but significant percentages of Lyt-2+ and L3T4+ cells appearing transiently. The phenotype of the effector cell(s), which mediates cytotoxic activity, was determined by utilizing flow cytometry to sort short-term cultured EC into positively and negatively stained populations. Cells which express L3T4, or which lack asialo GM1, did not lyse YAC-1 targets; maximum cytotoxic activity was found within populations of cells which are asialo GM1+, Lyt-2-, and asialo GM1+, Lyt-2+. These studies indicate that Thy-1+ cells derived from mouse epidermis when cultured in the presence of Con A and IL-2 have the capacity to generate a phenotypically heterogeneous population, some cells of which are capable of mediating cytotoxic activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-68
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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