Two modifications for miniaturizing the standard 51chromium release assay have been described. Using peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL) as effectors and very few target cells, this permits longitudinal studies on NK cell activity of individual mice to be performed. The modifications are based on methods to increase the chromium uptake by the target cell. Firstly, chromium uptake by the YAC-1 target cells was enhanced to such an extent that appreciable activity could be detected against as little as 750 cells/well at an E/T ratio of 50 : 1. Secondly, the uptake was increased even further by labelling the target cells in the presence of isotonic sucrose, thus permitting the use of only 125 target cells/well at an E/T of 25 : 1. The long term pattern of NK activity in individual BALB/c mice was studied by repeated bleedings over a period of 8 months. Considerable fluctuations with time were observed in the pattern of NK activity of individual mice. However, the NK activity averaged over a large number of mice did not show a significant decrease with age. These methods may allow the study of the long term pattern of NK activity in individual mice and the response of this activity to physiological and environmental factors.
- Cr release assay, miniaturized
- Long term follow-up
- NK activity
- Peripheral blood lymphocytes, individual mouse