The natural cytotoxicity against isolated epithelial cells of rat small intestine was studied. The isolation of intestinal epithelial cells was easily performed using EDTA and DTT digestion with good viability. The cells were labelled by 51Cr sufficiently to be usable for the in vitro 51Cr release assay. The cytotoxic activity of spleen cells to syngeneic and allogeneic epithelial cells was 13.5% and 13.7%, respectively. Cold inhibition assays revealed that the susceptibility of isolated epithelial cells to killing is non-specific for lineage and no restriction with major histocompatibility complexes was noticed. These findings correspond to the cytotoxicity against skin epidermal cells, in which skin cells are killed by normal spleen cells by natural killer systems. Therefore, the isolated epithelial cells of rat small intestine can become the target of natural killer cells, suggesting that rapidly differentiating cells may be controlled by natural killer systems.
isolated epithelial cells
rat small intestine