Tech ID 98-013 – Natural Killer Cell Line Derived from Healthy Human Male Donor

Dr. Jacki Kornbluth developed the NK 3.3 human natural killer (NK) cell line in 1981 while at Saint Louis University. In 1982, she first published a description of the cells in the Journal of Immunology (J. Immunol. 129:2831-2837, 1982). Human NK cells are a small population of circulating lymphocytes. They represent approximately 2-4% of the lymphocytes in the blood, making it difficult to obtain large numbers of purified cells for study. NK 3.3 is an important tool because the cells can be grown in the laboratory providing a constant, ready supply of cells. Moreover, very large numbers of the cells can be obtained. Even more, the cells were derived from a single NK cell from a single healthy individual. As such, every NK 3.3 is identical to the next. Normally, it would be impossible to obtain large numbers of NK cells from a single individual. In addition, not every NK cell from the same individual is identical. NK 3.3 is the only known “normal” human NK cell line available. There are at least two other human NK cell lines, developed by other investigators, both of which were derived from patients with leukemia. In contrast, NK 3.3 was generated from the blood of a healthy adult male. OVPR Research Innovation Group (Office of Technology Management) otm@slu.edu 314-977-1219

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