The function of human NK cells is enhanced by beta-glucan, a ligand of CR3 (CD11b/CD18)

Eur J Immunol. 1991 Jul;21(7):1755-8. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830210726.


Cells responsible for the natural killer (NK) effect in the human blood can be collected in the low-density lymphocyte subset and the majority of them express CR3. In addition to the iC3b binding site the CR3 molecules possess an epitope which binds beta-glucan. Ligands of this site can deliver activation signals to CR3-carrying monocytes and neutrophils. We found that the function of NK cells was also potentiated by preincubation with beta-glucan. The treatment increased the proportion of target-binding lymphocytes and of the damaged target cells in the conjugates. The monoclonal antibody OKM-1, directed to the beta-glucan-binding site of CR3, abrogated this effect. Another CR3-reactive monoclonal antibody, M522, known to activate monocytes and neutrophils, enhanced the NK function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic / drug effects
  • Glucans / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural / drug effects*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen / physiology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Glucans
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen