In the context of aging and age-associated diseases, Natural Killer (NK) cells have been revealed as a key cell type responsible for the immune clearance of senescent cells. Subsequently, NK cell-based therapies have emerged as promising alternatives to drug-based therapeutic interventions for the prevention and treatment of age-related disease and debility. Given the promise of NK cell-mediated immunotherapies as a safe and effective treatment strategy, we outline an improved method by which primary NK cells can be efficiently enriched from human peripheral blood across multiple donors (ages 20-42 years old), with a practical protocol that reliably enhances both CD56dim and CD56bright NK cells by 15-fold and 3-fold, respectively. Importantly, we show that our co-culture protocol can be used as an easily adaptable tool to assess highly efficient and selective killing of senescent cells by primary NK cells enriched via our method using longer co-culture durations and a low target to effector ratio, which may be more physiological than has been achieved in previous literature.
Keywords: NKCC; aging; immune surveillance; natural killer cells; senescence.