Lectin-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity: Assessment of lectin activity

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Alloimmune mouse spleen cells are capable of carrying out nonspecific cell-mediated cytolysis of syngeneic target cells when incubated in the presence of lectins such as Con A or PHA (lectin-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity). In the present study plant lectins from a variety of sources were examined for their ability to participate in alloimmune-LDCC. Reactivity was then compared to mitogenic activity and the ability to activate cytotoxic effector cells in vitro. Of the lectins tested only those reported to be T-cell mitogens were capable of participating in alloimmune-LDCC. Agglutinating but nonmitogenic lectins (e.g., WGA) or mitogens such as LPS or PWM failed to yield positive LDCC. Of the T-cell mitogens demonstrating positive reactivity in the alloimmune-LDCC assay, only a portion were able to generate cytolytic activity when incubated with normal spleen cells in vitro (Con A, GPA, lentil). Crude PHA, purified erythroagglutinin, or leukagglutinin failed to generate cytotoxic effector cells in this system even though these were mitogenic and demonstrated positive alloimmune-LDCC. The results suggest that T-cell mitogens interact with cytotoxic effector cells in a manner which specifically triggers cytolysis. The relationship of this interaction to other lymphocyte-lectin interactions is discussed. © 1980, All rights reserved.

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Cellular Immunology