Anti-effector cell mAb 5C6.10.4 (5C6) inhibits cytotoxic activity of fish nonspecific cytotoxic cells (NCC). We now show that 5C6 also inhibits mammalian NK cell activity using fresh and cultured (CRC) leukemic rat NK cells. The inhibitory activity of 5C6 was caused by blocking of conjugate formation between NK cells and YAC-1 targets. Binding studies done by flow cytometry (FCM) showed that mAb 5C6 specifically bound to 8% of unfractionated rat spleen cells. Enrichment by nylon-wool fractionation produced 27.2% specific binding, along with a 3.4-fold enrichment in cytotoxic activity. Tissue distribution studies revealed that the highest number of cells recognized by mAb 5C6 were found in NWNA spleen cells (28.7%), followed by liver (18.9%) and peripheral blood (13.9). Two-color FCM showed that although all 3.2.3 mAb-positive cells were also stained with mAb 5C6, a small percentage of 3.2.3. negative noncytotoxic NWNA spleen T cells were 5C6 positive. Redirected lysis experiments demonstrated that anti-effector mAb-producing myeloma cells could be killed by CRC and NWNA spleen cells. In addition, mAb 5C6 produced specific inhibition of redirected lysis of each myeloma target. Experiments were also conducted to determine the signaling capability of the FAM complex. Binding of the anti-FAM mAbs to NWNA rat spleen cells caused a rapid increase in cytosolic free calcium of approximately 472 nM. Western blot analysis of CRC cell lysates showed that the molecules recognized by anti-FAM mAbs have molecular weights of 38 and 42 kDa. These studies indicate that the anti-effector mAbs recognize a functionally relevant molecule on rat NK cells that is involved in the first steps of cytolysis, i.e., antigen recognition, and which also triggers the activation of signal-transducing events in these cells.
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