CC chemokines induce the generation of killer cells from CD56+ cells

Eur J Immunol. 1996 Feb;26(2):315-9. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830260207.


We describe here that members of the CC chemokines exhibit biological activities other than chemotaxis. Macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1 alpha, MIP-1 beta, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and RANTES, but not interleukin (IL)-8, induce the generation of cytolytic cells, designated here as CHAK (CC chemokine-activated killer) cells to distinguish them from IL-2-activated (LAK) cells. Like IL-2, CC chemokines can induce the proliferation and activation of killer cells. While incubating CC chemokines with CD4+ or CD8+ cells did not generate CHAK activity, all CC chemokines were capable of inducing CHAK activity upon incubating with CD56+ cells, suggesting that the primary effectors are NK cells. However, the presence of other cell types, such as CD4+ or CD8+, are necessary to induce the proliferation of CD56+ cells. Confirming the involvement of T cell-derived factors in inducing the proliferation of these cells, anti-IL-2 and anti-interferon-gamma, but not anti-IL-1 beta, anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha, anti-IL-8, or anti-granulocyte/monocyte-colony-stimulating factor inhibited RANTES-induced proliferation of nylon wool column-nonadherent cells. Our results may have important clinical applications for the utilization of CHAK cells in the treatment of cancer and immunodeficient patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CD56 Antigen / analysis*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Cell Line
  • Chemokine CCL2 / pharmacology
  • Chemokine CCL4
  • Chemokine CCL5 / pharmacology
  • Chemokines / pharmacology*
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic* / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Lymphokine-Activated / immunology*
  • Leukemia, Erythroblastic, Acute
  • Lymphocyte Activation* / drug effects
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins
  • Monokines / pharmacology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • CD56 Antigen
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Chemokine CCL4
  • Chemokine CCL5
  • Chemokines
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins
  • Monokines