Lymphocytes mediating natural killer (NK.) and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) activities are relatively refractory to the changes in circulatory traffic and intrinsic function induced in other cell types by in vivo and in vitro corticosteroids (CS). To investigate if such drug resistance could be attributed to differences in the CS receptor number or affinity (Kd) of these cells, these characteristics were determined in purified populations of large granular lymphocytes (LGL), monocytes, neutrophils (PMN), and T cells. All cell types displayed a single class of CS receptor of uniform affinity; however, LGL resembled monocytes and PMN in receptor number and Kd while T cells had significantly fewer sites per cell with lower Kd. These studies suggest that the unresponsiveness of NK activity to CS is not secondary to differences in CS receptor capacity or affinity.
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