The role of 2-mercaptoethanol and indomethacin in the induction of lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) activity by interleukin-2 (IL-2) in rat splenocyte cultures was investigated. Spleens from 4-month-old male rats of five different strains were tested. Splenocytes were cultured for 3-5 days in the presence of IL-2 (1000 U/ml) and LAK activity was assessed by 4-h51Cr release assays with P815 and YAC-1 cells as targets. LAK activity could be induced by IL-2 in splenocytes from all rat strains, but only when 2-mercaptoethanol was present in the culture medium. Optimal LAK activity was induced when the 2-mercaptoethanol concentration in splenocyte cultures was at least 5 μM. Different rat strains showed differences in levels of in vitro induction of LAK activity. In the presence of 2-mercaptoethanol the level of LAK activity induced by IL-2 was high in BN and Lewis rats, intermediate in Wistar and Wag rats, and low in DZB rats. In the absence of 2-mercaptoethanol no or minimal LAK activity was induced. Furthermore we observed that addition of 50 μm indomethacin to the culture medium in the presence of 2-mercaptoethanol augmented the induction of LAK activity to some extent. In the absence of 2-mercaptoethanol, addition of indomethacin resulted only in low levels or no induction of LAK activity. We conclude that for optimal induction of LAK activity by IL-2 in rat splenocyte cultures 2-mercaptoethanol is essential, while indomethacin can only marginally further improve this induction.

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Keywords 2-Mercaptoethanol, Indomethacin, Lymphokine-activated killer activity
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Journal Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy: other biological response modifications
Kuppen, P.J.K, Eggermont, A.M.M, Marinelli, A.W, de Heer, E, van de Velde, C.J.H, & Fleuren, G.J. (1991). Induction of lymphokine-activated killer activity in rat splenocyte cultures: The importance of 2-mercaptoethanol and indomethacin. Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy: other biological response modifications, 33(1), 28–32. doi:10.1007/BF01742524