Colonic mucosal lymphoid cells, selectively enriched for intraepithelial (IEL) or lamina proprial lymphocytes (LPL), were isolated by sequential EDTA-collagenase treatment of resected human colons. Cytotoxic activities of colonic and peripheral blood lymphoid cells (PBL) were tested in three different assays, using chicken erythrocytes (CRBC) and Chang cells as targets. Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) and PHA-induced cytotoxicity (MICC) for both targets were shown by all the isolates of PBL, as was spontaneous cell-mediated cytotoxicity (SCMC) for Chang cells. However, no SCMC or ADCC for Chang cells was found with LPL, and IEL showed minimal or no activity in either assay. PBL, LPL and IEL demonstrated MICC for Chang cells but, contrasting with PBL and LPL, IEL showed no MCC for CRBC. No significant differences were found between the cytotoxic capabilities of colonic lymphoid cells from patients with inflammatory bowel disease and those from patients with other colonic diseases. Importantly, control studies with PBL showed that SCMC for Chang cells and ADCC for CRBC and Chang cells were reduced by collagenase treatment used in the isolation, of LPL. Also, SCMC for Chang cells was reduced by the treatment of PBL with EDTA. In contrast, neither EDTA nor collagenase reduced MICC for CRBC or Chang cells. Both forms of treatment induced variable degrees of cell losses in the PBL. By analogy, it can be implied that the isolation of intestinal mononuclear cells using EDTA and collagenase may influence some of their cytotoxic activities in vitro. This raises an important caveat in the interpretation of such studies.
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