A homogeneous population of lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells is incapable of killing virus-, bacteria-, or parasite-infected macrophages

Cell Immunol. 1990 Jan;125(1):261-7. doi: 10.1016/0008-8749(90)90080-b.


Previous reports have suggested a role for natural killer (NK) cells in directly lysing host cells infected with bacteria and other intracellular microorganisms. Here, we determined the inability of a highly homogeneous population of lymphokine activated killer (LAK) cells to kill macrophages infected with the following intracellular parasites: Mycobacterium avium, Listeria monocytogenes, Legionella pneumophila, Toxoplasma gondii, and Trypanosoma cruzi. In parallel cytotoxicity assays, LAK cells lysed the tumor targets YAC-1 and P815 effectively. Furthermore, we were able to demonstrate that influenza-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL), but not LAK cells, were efficient killers of influenza virus-infected macrophages.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chagas Disease / immunology
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic*
  • Immunity, Cellular*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Killer Cells, Lymphokine-Activated / immunology*
  • Legionella / immunology
  • Listeria monocytogenes / immunology
  • Listeriosis / immunology
  • Macrophages / microbiology*
  • Macrophages / parasitology
  • Mice
  • Mycobacterium avium
  • Orthomyxoviridae / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • Toxoplasma
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal / immunology
  • Trypanosoma cruzi