Differential effect of cryopreservation on natural killer cell and lymphokine‐activated killer cell activities

F. Martí, M. Peiró, B. Amill, C. de Dalmases, G. Piñol, F. Rueda, J. García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The use of lymphokine‐activated killer (LAK) cell therapy in delayed treatment requires the use of cryopreserved effector cells. The purpose of this study was to determine the optimal cryopreservation protocol for the maintenance of cytotoxic activity in mononuclear cells (MNCs). MNCs were cryopreserved with dimethyl sulfoxide or 1,2‐propanediol before and after 3 days of culture with recombinant interleukin 2. The effects of cryopreservation on cell recovery, LAK cell and natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxic activities, and surface antigen markers were studied. Recovery of nonactivated MNCs was higher with 1,2‐propanediol than with dimethyl sulfoxide (p < 0.05). Cytotoxic activities, measured with a 51Cr release assay, significantly decreased after thawing, on both activated cells (76.3%; range, 35.8–92.2%) and fresh cells (54.6%; range, 17.5–75.4%). A 6‐day kinetic test was used to compare the cytotoxic activity of cryopreserved and fresh cells. The results showed different patterns for NK cells (cryopreserved cells had lower levels of activity than fresh cells) and LAK cells (cryopreserved cells had higher levels of activity than fresh cells). Phenotype changes of effector cells in culture, with and without cryopreservation, were monitored by flow cytometry using monoclonal antibodies. These results were compared with changes in the cytotoxicity of cells with and without cryopreservation. After thawing, there was a decrease in MNCs expressing CD14 and CD56. Recovery of the CD56 marker correlates with increased cytotoxic activity. Despite some loss of NK cell activity, it is concluded that MNCs may be successfully cryopreserved before their use in immunotherapeutic treatment. 1993 AABB

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-655
Number of pages5
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Hematology


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