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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 210726, 10 pages
Research Article

Evaluation of NK Cell Function by Flowcytometric Measurement and Impedance Based Assay Using Real-Time Cell Electronic Sensing System

1Department of Biomedical Science, Graduate School, Catholic University of Korea, 505 Banpo-Dong, Seocho-Ku, Seoul 137-701, Republic of Korea
2Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, Catholic University of Korea, 505 Banpo-Dong, Seocho-Ku, Seoul 137-701, Republic of Korea

Received 14 June 2013; Revised 22 August 2013; Accepted 6 September 2013

Academic Editor: Domenico Mavilio

Copyright © 2013 Ki-Hyun Park et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Although real-time cell electronic sensing (RT-CES) system-based natural killer (NK) cytotoxicity has been introduced, it has not been evaluated using human blood samples. In present study, we measured flowcytometry based assay (FCA) and RT-CES based NK cytotoxicity and analyzed degranulation activity (CD107a) and cytokine production. In 98 healthy individuals, FCA with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) at effector to target (E/T) ratio of 32 revealed 46.5 ± 2.6% cytolysis of K562 cells, and 23.5 ± 1.1% of NK cells showed increased degranulation. In RT-CES system, adherent NIH3T3 target cells were resistant to basal killing by PBMC or NK cells. NK cell activation by adding IL-2 demonstrated real-time dynamic killing activity, and lymphokine-activated PBMC (E/T ratio of 32) from 15 individuals showed 59.1 ± 6.2% cytotoxicity results after 4 hours incubation in RT-CES system. However, there was no significant correlation between FCA and RT-CES cytotoxicity. After K562 target cell stimulation, PBMC produced profound proinflammatory and immunoregulatory cytokines/chemokines including IL-2, IL-8, IL-10, MIP-1αβ, IFN-γ, and TNF-α, and cytokine/chemokine secretion was related to flowcytometry-based NK cytotoxicity. These data suggest that RT-CES and FCA differ in sensitivity, applicability and providing information, and further investigations are necessary in variable clinical conditions.