Athymic nude rat. III natural cell mediated cytotoxicity.
Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology , Volume 17 - Issue 2 p. 163- 172
Homozygous rnu/rnu and heterozygous +/rnu rats were investigated and compared with each other for the existence of natural cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Investigated were total, adherent, and nonadherent cell populations from spleen, peritoneal cavity, and mesenteric lymph node. The natural killer (NK) cell activity was measured in a 4-hr 51Cr-release assay with a xenogeneic murine YAC lymphoma target cell line. In both and +/rnu rats the peritoneal cavity had the highest percentage of activity, while the spleen and mesenteric lymph node showed a lower activity. The mesenteric lymph node of +/rnu rats of 8–10 weeks of age was found to express a very low activity, in contrast to a very high activity in rats. For almost every effector to target cell (E:T) ratio investigated (100, 70, 50, and 10), the natural killer cell activity in the nude rats was found to be significantly higher than in their thymus-bearing littermates. In comparison with that of +/rnu rats, NK activity in the nonadherent cell fractions of athymic rats was 50 to 60% higher in spleen cells, doubled in peritoneal cells, and increased 10-fold or higher in lymph node cells. Investigations of rat sera for the presence of antibodies against frequently occurring rodent viruses were negative.