Natural killing and antibody-dependent cytotoxicity by lymphocyte subpopulations in young and aging humans

Gabriel Fernandes, Sudhir Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Scopus citations


Natural killer (NK) and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) were examined in the peripheral blood lymphocytes and their major subpopulations from young and aging subjects. Monocyte-depleted unseparated lymphocyte-mediated NK activity (against cells of K-562) and ADCC (against IgG-coated chicken erythrocytes) were comparable between young and aging subjects. Similarly no significant difference was observed in T cell-mediated NK and ADCC and non-T cell-mediated ADCC between young and aging subjects. Non-T cell-mediated NK activity, however, was significantly (P<0.025) greater in aging humans compared to that of young subjects. When the data were analyzed according to gender, T cell-mediated ADCC in aging males was significantly (P<0.05) greater than that found in young males. No significant difference was observed between T-cell ADCC among young and aging females. T cell-mediated NK was comparable among young and aging males and young and aging females. Non-T cell-mediated NK as well as ADCC activity was significantly (P<0.025 or <0.05) greater in aging males compared to that in young males. Both non-T-cell NK and ADCC were comparable among young and aging females. This study demonstrates an increase in NK and ADCC activity in aging subjects that is primarily shared by males and not by females. No correlation was observed between the proportion of Tγ cells and T-cell NK or ADCC activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-148
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 1981



  • Natural killer cells
  • aging
  • antibody-dependent cytotoxicity
  • lymphocyte subpopulations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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