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Ultrastructure of interactions between activated murine natural killer cells and melanoma cells in an extracellular matrix (Matrigel) environment

Ultrastructure of interactions between activated murine natural killer cells and melanoma cells in an extracellular matrix (Matrigel) environment


Mixed suspensions of B16-F10 melanoma cells and murine interleukin 2 (IL2)-activated (adherent) natural killer (A-NK) cells cultured for 5 days were enclosed in gelled droplets of reconstituted basement membrane extracellular matrix (Matrigel). After incubation under cell culture conditions +/- IL2, samples were fixed for electron microscopy after 10 min and 2, 6, and 24 h. At the first time point cells were rounded and randomly distributed in the gel, at 2 h A-NK cells migrated vividly and formed contacts with target cells. At 6 h there were extensive effector:target conjugates and melanoma cell debris in the gel. Directed exocytosis of A-NK cell-specific granules could not be verified. At 24 h very few intact B16 cells remained in IL2-substituted specimens and there were large amounts of lytic melanoma cell remnants; in the absence of IL2 substantial numbers of surviving melanoma cells formed aggregates. At this time some A-NK cells had ingested melanoma cell components which probably fused with specific two-compartment granules to form large phagolysosomes. A-NK cells enlarged into a giant cell type with huge cytoplasmic accumulations of amorphous material described as mucoid masses by others.

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Accession: 047869929

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PMID: 9162268

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