Volume regulation of natural killer cells under hypotonic stress: Comparison with T and B cell subpopulations Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • In response to hypotonic stress, human T and B cells vary in the ability to adjust their volume. Whereas T cells exhibit a regulatory volume decrease (RVD) under these conditions, B cells do not. We studied the ability of peripheral blood-derived natural killer (NK) cells to regulate their volume in this way. Percoll density gradient purified NK subpopulation showed variable RVD which suggested the presence of mixtures of regulatory and non-regulatory cells within these subgroups. Further purification by flow cytometry into Leu 7+ and Leu 11+ cells showed that these NK cells displayed RVD similar to thymocytes but distinct from B cells and more mature T cells. These data support the hypothesis that NK cells may be derived from T cell precursors which, upon differentiation to NK cells, retain the RVD characteristic of pre-T cells. This finding may also be useful in further characterizing neoplastic clones which display NK-like activity but phenotypic heterogeneity.

publication date

  • October 1986