Role of target and effector cell structures in natural killer-mediated cytotoxicity

Pier Luigi Tazzari, Daniela Zauli, Donatella Raspadori, Cristina Crespi, Monica Magnani, Angela Tassinari, Marco Gobbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An analysis of target and effector cell structures involved in the in vitro natural killer (NK)-mediated cytotoxicity has been performed. The degree of surface expression of transferrin receptor (TR) was only in part correlated with that of cell lysis. Moreover, the lysis could not be blocked by treating target cells with two anti-TR monoclonal antibodies. Finally, cell lines poorly affected by NK cells express TR only at the cytoplasmic level. As to the effector cells, the integrity of cytoskeleton components (especially microtubules) was found to be essential for the occurrence of cell lysis. In fact, vinblastine, an anti-microtubule agent, was able to significantly reduce the percentage cell lysis. This effect was not due to a selective depletion in NK cells induced by the drug. It is concluded that the mechanisms underlying NK activity are complex and involve both target and effector cell structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-447
Number of pages5
JournalLa Ricerca in Clinica e in Laboratorio
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1986


  • Cytoskeleton
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Natural killer cells
  • Transferrin receptor
  • Vinblastine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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