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It has been shown previously that fragmentation of target cell DNA is an early event in lysis mediated by cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTL). In this study, we have investigated whether CTL-derived granules that exhibit lytic activity also induce DNA fragmentation in murine target cells. Cytolytic granules isolated from three different alloreactive CTL clones were tested for the induction of DNA fragmentation in P815 and EL4 target cells, by using a Triton X-100-facilitated, radiolabeled DNA release assay. In contrast to the CTL clones from which they were derived, the cytolytic granules did not induce DNA fragmentation. Agarose gel electrophoretic analysis of DNA confirmed the lack of discrete DNA fragments in target cells lysed by CTL-derived granules. Possible explanations for the difference in the ability of CTL and CTL-derived granules to trigger DNA fragmentation are discussed.


Journal article


Journal of Immunology

Publication Date





774 - 778