UNIT 14.32 Comparing Individual NK Cell Activity In Vitro

  1. Heidi Sierich,
  2. Thomas Eiermann

Published Online: 1 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/0471142735.im1432s100

Current Protocols in Immunology

Current Protocols in Immunology

How to Cite

Sierich, H. and Eiermann, T. 2013. Comparing Individual NK Cell Activity In Vitro. Current Protocols in Immunology. 100:14.32:14.32.1–14.32.11.

Author Information

  1. University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Hamburg, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2013
  2. Published Print: FEB 2013


Natural killer (NK) cells play an important role in the innate immune system by eliminating infected and mutated cells. Their cytotoxic capacities vary markedly among individuals. The cytotoxic activity can be measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) using the NK cell–specific target cell line K562. In this chapter, we present a protocol for the standardization and normalization of cell preparation and NK cell cytotoxicity measurement in a 51Cr-release assay. By following these protocols, it is possible to compare the NK cell activity of numerous—if necessary selected—individuals in vitro. Curr. Protoc. Immunol. 100:14.32.1-14.32.11. © 2013 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • 51Cr release assay;
  • K562;
  • cytotoxicity;
  • responsiveness;
  • licensing