Human peripheral blood granulocytes at a 10:1 effector cell:target cell ratio were shown by an in vitro semiquantitative staining procedure to reduce the number of human tumor cells, but not that of normal cells. Microscopic observations revealed that this selective reduction of tumor cells by granulocytes was a function of both detachment and cytolysis. The cytotoxic effect of granulocytes on the tumor cells was confirmed by a quantitative 5-[125I]lodo-2-deoxyuridine release assay. The data indicate that human granulocytes at a relatively low effector:target cell ratio (10:1) have the capacity to recognize and destroy human tumor cells in vitro.
Supported by the Medical Research Service of the Veterans Administration (Projects 1384, 2248, and 5854) and by USPHS Grants CA12582 and CA05262 awarded by the National Cancer Institute (Department of Health, Education and Welfare).