In vitro augmentation of natural killer cell activity and production of interferon-alpha/beta and -gamma with deoxyribonucleic acid fraction from Mycobacterium bovis BCG

Jpn J Cancer Res. 1988 Jul;79(7):866-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.1988.tb00049.x.


A nucleic acid-rich fraction extracted and purified from BCG (MY-1) augmented natural killer (NK) cell activity of mouse spleen cells in vitro, and produced factor(s) which showed anti-viral activity and rendered normal macrophages cytotoxic towards tumor cells. These cellular responses were induced by the MY-1 digested preliminarily with RNase, but not by the MY-1 digested with DNase, indicating that DNA contained in MY-1 was essential for the responses. The function of the factor to activate macrophages was destroyed by treatment with a small amount of anti-interferon (IFN)-gamma antiserum or under acidic conditions (pH 2), but not by treatment with anti-IFN-alpha/beta antiserum, while the anti-viral activity was destroyed almost completely by treatment with anti-IFN-alpha/beta antiserum. It appears that DNA from BCG stimulated mouse spleen cells in vitro, resulting in augmentation of NK activity and production of IFN-alpha/beta and -gamma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA, Bacterial / pharmacology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interferon Type I / biosynthesis
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interferons / biosynthesis*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / drug effects*
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Kinetics
  • Lymphokines / biosynthesis
  • Macrophage-Activating Factors
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mycobacterium bovis / analysis*


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Interferon Type I
  • Lymphokines
  • Macrophage-Activating Factors
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Interferons