UNIT 7.17 Measurement of Polyclonal and Antigen-Specific Cytotoxic T Cell Function

  1. William E. Biddison (51Cr-release)1,
  2. Rudolf Lichtenfels2,
  3. Medi Adibzadeh2,
  4. Roland Martin2

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142735.im0717s17

Current Protocols in Immunology

Current Protocols in Immunology

How to Cite

Biddison, W. E., Lichtenfels, R., Adibzadeh, M. and Martin, R. 2001. Measurement of Polyclonal and Antigen-Specific Cytotoxic T Cell Function. Current Protocols in Immunology. 17:II:7.17:7.17.1–7.17.14.

Author Information

  1. 1

    National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, Maryland

  2. 2

    Department of Neurology, Tübingen, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: MAR 1996


Measurement of in vitro cytotoxic function of human T cells can be accomplished by polyclonal stimulation of T cell effectors using anti-CD3 antibody, which stimulates all cytolytic effector cells, or with a specific stimulating antigen. Accordingly, two sets of assays of cytolytic T cell function are described in this unit, one for measuring anti-CD3-mediated cytotoxicity and the other for measuring antigen-specific cytotoxicity. Although the calcein release assay (CARE-LASS) described here is for use with antigen-activated cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) as well as natural killer (NK) or lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells, minor changes in the protocols that address polyclonal T cell activation are described that make them suitable for use with calcein-labeled target cells.