Measurement of natural killer cell-mediated cytotoxicity and migration in the context of hepatic tumor cells

Academic Article


  • Natural killer (NK) cells are a subset of the cytotoxic lymphocyte population of the innate immune system and participate as a first line of defense by clearing pathogen-infected, malignant, and stressed cells. The ability of NK cells to eradicate cancer cells makes them an important tool in the fight against cancer. Several new immune-based therapies are under investigation for cancer treatment which rely either on enhancing NK cell activity or increasing the sensitivity of cancer cells to NK cell-mediated eradication. However, to effectively develop these therapeutic approaches, cost-effective in vitro assays to monitor NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity and migration are also needed. Here, we present two in vitro protocols that can reliably and reproducibly monitor the effect of NK-cell cytotoxicity on cancer cells (or other target cells). These protocols are non-radioactivity-based, simple to set up, and can be scaled up for high-throughput screening. We also present a flow cytometry-based protocol to quantitatively monitor NK cell migration, which can also be scaled up for high-throughput screening. Collectively, these three protocols can be used to monitor key aspects of NK cell activity that are necessary for the cells' ability to eradicate dysfunctional target cells.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 19278353
  • Author List

  • Chava S; Bugide S; Gupta R; Wajapeyee N
  • Volume

  • 2020
  • Issue

  • 156