The nature of the natural killer (NK) cell of human intestinal mucosa and mesenteric lymph node

P. R. Gibson, D. P. Jewell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The relationship of the mononuclear cell (MNC) from human intestinal mucosa and mesenteric lymph node mediating anti-K-562 activity with that of peripheral blood has been assessed. Depletion of macrophages did not alter the measured cytotoxicity confirming that the effector cells were lymphocytes. Complement lysis of Leu 7 and Leu 11b coated cells reduced intestinal natural killer (NK) activity by a similar degree to that of peripheral blood but mesenteric lymph node NK activity was affected to a lesser extent. The response in NK activity of mucosal and nodal MNC to short incubation with lymphoblastoid interferon was similar to that for peripheral blood MNC. Twenty-four hours incubation of MNC with low concentrations of purified interleukin-2 (IL-2) consistently augmented intestinal and nodal NK activity but failed to augment that of peripheral blood MNC. No differences between the inhibitory effects of cAMP and prostaglandin E2 on NK activity from the three sites were seen. In addition, inhibition of cyclo-oxygenase activity with indomethacin had no effect on NK activity of intestinal and peripheral blood MNC while the lipoxygenase inhibitor, nordihydroguaiaretic acid, suppressed intestinal and peripheral blood NK activity similarly. In conclusion, anti-K-562 activity by intestinal MNC is mediated by NK cells with similar phenotypic and functional properties to those of peripheral blood. However, the increased sensitivity of mucosal NK cells to IL-2 suggests that higher proportions of NK cell precursors may be present in intestinal MNC populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-168
Number of pages9
JournalClinical & Experimental Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1985
Externally publishedYes

Cite this