Morphological study of cytotoxicity produced by PSK-induced polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) and Nocardia rubra cell wall skeleton.

Kata H, Inoue M, Mukai S, Kawahito Y, Yoshida T, Asai K, Kimura S, Hashiramoto A, Yamamura Y, Sano H, Sugino S, Kondo M.

First Department of Internal Medicine, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan.


The morphologic changes in PMNs induced by an i.p. injection of PSK, a polysaccharide from the mycelia of Coriolus versicolor, and tumor cells undergoing cell death, were evaluated by immunohistochemical staining and electron microscopy. Male C3H/He mice, 8-10 -weeks old, received an i.p. injection of 125 mg/kg of PSK. Their PMNs were obtained 6 h after the PSK injection by peritoneal lavage. N-CWS (Nocardia rubra cell wall skeleton) was added at the start of the chromium release assay using the MM46 mammary carcinoma cell line, which is syngeneic to C3H/He mice, as target cells. During the cytotoxic assay, the cells were fixed at various time points. The MM46 cells expressed ICAM-1 while the PMNs expressed both ICAM-1 and LFA-1 as determined by immunohistochemical staining and immunoelectron microscopy using anti-ICAM-1 and anti-LFA-1 antibodies. PMNs with ruffle-like microvilli adhered to the MM46 tumor cells 30 min after the addition of N-CWS. Immunoelectron microscopic findings suggested that the adhesion molecules were LFA-1 on the PMNs and ICAM-1 on the MM46 tumor cells, but cell fusion between the PMNs and tumor cells was not observed. The MM46 tumor cells gradually lost their microvilli, which showed cell damage, and died 6-7 h after the addition of the N-CWS. This time course of tumor cell death is compatible with the results of the cytotoxic assay. Pretreatment of PMNs by anti-LFA-1 antibody suppressed 1% lysis of MM46 tumor cells from 90% to 10% (p < 0.01). These data suggest that adhesion molecule on the surface of PMNs such as LFA-1 might play an important role on signal transduction of these PMNs cytotoxic function in this experimental system.

PMID: 9012542 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]