Cytotoxicity of lymphokine-activated killer cells against human neuroblastoma cells: Modulation by neuroblast differentiation

D. S. Duan, Diana L Farmer, A. A. Rayner, W. Sadee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The cytolytic activity of lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells against human neuroblastoma (NB) cells was investigated using the continuous NB cell lines, IMR-32, Kelly, and two subclones of SK-N-SH, SH-SY5Y (neuroblastic phenotype), and SH-EP (non-neuronal phenotype). NB cells were found to be sensitive targets of LAK. Of the SK-N-SH subclones, the neuroblasts, SH-SY5Y, were more susceptible to LAK killing than were the non-neuronal cells, SH-EP. Pre-treatment of the targets SH-SY5Y and SH-EP with the differentiating agents, retinoic acid (RA, 10 μM), herbimycin A (236 nM), or nerve growth factor (10 ng/ml), did not substantially alter LAK killing. Furthermore, these differentiating agents did not measurably affect LAK activity during the cytolysis assay or with 1-h preincubation of the LAK effectors. However, co-incubation of the LAK cultures over the 3-day activation period with RA (1 μM) or PGE2 (1 μM) inhibited cytolysis by 80%, suggesting that these agents interfere with an early activation step to LAK. These results support the potential use of LAK treatment for neuroblastoma, in combination with differentiation agents that do not affect neuroblastoma sensitivities toward LAK cells. However, some differentiation agents, (e.g. RA) and endogenous prostaglandins (e.g., PGE2) may interfere with LAK activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-344
Number of pages6
JournalMedical and Pediatric Oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1990


  • LAK
  • neuroblast differentiation
  • neuroblastoma
  • neurosecretions
  • prostaglandins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Cytotoxicity of lymphokine-activated killer cells against human neuroblastoma cells: Modulation by neuroblast differentiation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this