Perforin dependence of natural killer cell-mediated tumor control in vivo

Eur J Immunol. 1995 Dec;25(12):3514-6. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830251246.


Adaptive immune surveillance by T cells against infections and tumors depends on the presence of antigenic peptides presented by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. If antigenic tumor-specific peptides or MHC class I molecules are absent, the adaptive T cell immune response fails. Natural killer (NK) cells seem to complement the specific T cells by recognizing target cells lacking MHC class I (e.g. RMA-S). The role of perforin, which is crucially involved in T cell and NK cell-mediated target cell lysis, was evaluated in mice lacking perforin with respect to their capacity to eliminate a syngeneic lymphoid tumor. Here, we show that growth of MHC class I RMA-S tumor cells in unprimed mice was controlled by NK cells through perforin-dependent cytotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division / immunology
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic / drug effects
  • Immunity, Cellular / drug effects
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Perforin
  • Pore Forming Cytotoxic Proteins
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Pore Forming Cytotoxic Proteins
  • Perforin