In vivo assessment of natural killer cell activity in rats

Shamgar Ben-Eliyahu, Gayle Giboney Page

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In vivo levels of natural killer (NK) cell activity are estimated commonly using the standard in vitro NK cytotoxicity assay. Although the in vitro assay is a powerful tool for studying many aspects of NK activity, its ability to reflect in vivo changes in NK activity is limited, because the complex physiological milieu in which NK activity occurs in vivo is neither preserved nor recreated in the in vitro assay. Direct manipulation of the in vitro environment (for example, adding hormones) and extrapolation of the findings to the in vivo condition also is subject to criticism; NK activity is studied outside its biological context in the absence of serum factors, lymphokines and neurotransmitters, all of which are known to affect NK activity and to modulate the effects of hormones on this activity. Cytotoxicity is assessed commonly in the in vitro assay using non-autogenic target cells chosen for their high in vitro NK-sensitivity
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)199-214
JournalProgress in Neuroendocrinimmunology
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1992


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