Lymphokine-activated killer cell
In cell biology, a lymphokine-activated killer cell (also known as a LAK cell) is a white blood cell that has been stimulated to kill tumor cells. If lymphocytes are cultured in the presence of Interleukin 2, it results in the development of effector cells which are cytotoxic to tumor cells.
It has been shown that lymphocytes, when exposed to Interleukin 2, are capable of lysing fresh, non-cultured cancer cells, both primary and metastatic.  LAK cells respond to these lymphokines, particularly IL-2, by lysing tumor cells that were already known to be resistant to NK cell activity.
The mechanism of LAK cells is distinctive from that of natural killer cells because they can lyse cells that NK cells cannot. LAK cells are also capable of acting against cells that do not display the major histocompatibility complex, as has been shown by the ability to cause lysis in non-immunogenic, allogeneic and syngeneic tumors. LAK cells are specific to tumor cells and do not display activity against normal cells.
Notes and references
- "Definition of lymphokine-activated killer cell". National Cancer Institute. Retrieved 2007-03-06.
- "Medical Dictionary: Lymphokine-activated killer cell". Wrong Diagnosis. Retrieved 2007-03-06.
- E A Fagan and A L Eddleston (1987). "Immunotherapy for cancer: the use of lymphokine activated killer (LAK) cells.". GUT: An International Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 28 (2): 113–116. PMC 1432985.
- Lafreniere R, Rosenberg SA (1985). "Successful immunotherapy of murine experimental hepatic metastases with lymphokine-activated killer cells and recombinant Interleukin 2.". Cancer Res 45: 3735–41.
- Rosenberg SA, Lotze MT, Muul LM, et al (1985). "Observations on the systemic administration of autologous lymohokine-activated killer cells and recombinant interleukin-2 to patients with metastatic cancer.". New England Journal of Medicine 313: 1485–92.
- Lymphokine-Activated Killer Cells at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
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