Function, target-cell preference and cell-surface characteristics of herpes-simplex virus type-2-induced non-antigen-specific killer cells
Armerding, D.; Simon, M.M.; Hämmerling, U.; Hämmerling, G.J.; Rossiter, H.
Immunobiology 158(4): 347-368
Wild-type and congenitally athymic nude mice injected with herpes-simplex virus type 2 (HSV 2) responded with a local outburst of non-antigen-specific killer cells masking any virus-specific response. Cytolytic activity could be assayed on mouse-tumor cell lines and on syngeneic or allogeneic non-transformed cells from various sources. Some of the tumor cell lines and proteose-peptone-induced peritoneal exudate cells were lysed more efficiently after infection with either HSV 2, vaccinia or influenza A virus. Preference for virus-infected target cells was already expressed 24 hours after HSV-2 injection. Killing activity was not H-2-restricted, not complement- or immunoglobulin-dependent and did not involve Fc receptors. The cytotoxic cells were non-adherent and could be shown to express Thy1, Quat4, and Quat4 cell-surface antigens. They lacked immunoglobulin and Lyt1: Lyt2,3 determinants. The functional and serological characteristics identify the HSV-2-induced cytolytic cells as natural killer (NK) cells. The potential importance of this cell population for natural resistance will be discussed.