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OTORINOLARINGOLOGIA

A Journal on Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,
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Otorinolaringologia 1998 June;48(2):51-6

language: Italian

Natural killer cells in tonsils and blood: comparative study and possible suggestion for functional significance

Bussi M., Albera R., Roncarolo M. G.*, Omedè P.**, Cardarelli L., Carlevato M. T.

Università degli Studi - Torino II Clinica ORL Dipartimento di Fisiopatologia Clinica
* Istituto di Clinica Pediatrica Centro di Immunologia Clinica dell’Infanzia
** Dipartimento di Oncologia Sperimentale e Scienze Biomediche Sezione Ematologia


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Background. In several studies of the last years, an attempt has been made in order to investigate the role and the mechanism of action of the cells with Natural Killer (NK) activity, however the real immunological nature and the in vivo function of these cells remains still unclear.
Methods. In the present study 25 subjects who have undergone tonsillectomy at II ENT Department University of Torino were evaluated. They were divided into three groups: patients who underwent surgery owing to 1) severe adenotonsillar hypertrophy associated with orthodontic problems; 2) recurrent tonsillitis due to common bacterial agents; 3) chronic tonsillitis with focal manifestations. The studies were performed in vitro on Tonsillar Mononuclear Cells (TMNC) isolated from tonsillar tissue and on Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMNC) picked up just before surgery. The identification tests were carried out using monoclonal antibodies with different NK specificities; in addition the Simultest (Anti- CD3/CD16, CD16 + CD56) was used.
Results. In PBMNC 26.4% Tec-NK, 17% Leu-7 and 16.7% Leu-11 positive cells were found. Among TMNC the percentage of cells positive for Tec- NK 1 was 25%, the same as that observed in PBMNC. The cells identified with Leu-7 moAb were 5.1%, less than in peripheral blood; surprising, no Leu-11 positive cells were found among tonsillar lymphocytes, irrespectively of age and pathology of the patients, as well as Simultest was negative for NK cells.
Conclusions. An interpretation of this finding in comparison with previous data of the literature is suggested.

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