Lymphokine-activated killer cell plus recombinant interleukin-2 therapy of erythroleukemia in mice

C. S. Johnson, S. M. Thurlow, P. Furmanski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The antileukemic effects of lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells plus recombinant interleukin-2 (rIL-2) therapy were assessed in mice with Friend virus (FV)-induced erythroleukemia. LAK cells were generated by incubating normal spleen cells from 72 hr in the presence of rIL-2 (1000 units/ml). At the time of injection, the LAK cells were cytotoxic in vitro against FV-infected fibroblasts and NK-sensitive and -resistant tumor targets but not normal controls. To determine in vivo activity, fully leukemic mice (spleen weight > 0.75 g) were injected with either PBS or LAK cells (108 cells/mouse IV at 14 and 17 days post virus) and rIL-2 (10,000 units/mouse IP every 8 hr on days 14 through 18 post virus). More than 70% of the progressively leukemic mice experienced permanent leukemia regressions (disease-free for > 100 days) following LAK cell plus rIL-2 therapy. Regressions were characterized by return of spleen and liver weights to normal and elimination of virus-infected erythroid (CFU-E) and macrophage (CFU-C) progenitor cells from spleen and marrow. Leukemic animals treated with either LAK cells alone or IL-2 alone experienced only transient leukemia regressions. These results demonstrate that LAK cell plus rIL-2 treatment can induce permanent regressions in progressively leukemic mice and provide a responsive and manipulable model system to elucidate the mechanisms involved in this form of immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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