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.
LAK cells, along with the administration of IL-2 have been experimentally used to treat cancer in mice and humans, but there is very high toxicity with this treatment - Severe fluid retention was the major side effect of therapy, although all side effects resolved after interleukin-2 administration was stopped.
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. 28 (2): 113–116. doi:10.1136/gut.28.2.113. PMC 1432985. PMID 3549471.
- 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. doi:10.1056/nejm198512053132327. PMID 3903508.
- Lymphokine-Activated+Killer+Cells at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
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