The interactions and reactions between co-cultured LAK cells and target cells were observed under scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Close contacts between these two cells were necessary to effect and sustain the killing process. In the contact area, there were prominent changes of the cell surface structures of both cells. The active motility of LAK cells accelerated the detachment and disintegration of the target cells. Lack of dense (killing) granules in the cytoplasm of LAK cells and the apoptotic death pattern of the affected target cells suggest that a non-perforin-dependent mechanism might be involved in killing. Morphologically, the killing process of LAK cells was basically similar to that of CTL and NK cells.
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