Direct killing of diseased cells is a hallmark function of NK cells. This protocol describes a flow-based assay to measure in vivo activated murine NK cells’ ability to kill target cells ex vivo. Existing published protocols for assaying ex vivo NK cell killing utilized the radioactive chromium release assay or were designed for human NK cells. This protocol details specifically an ex vivo cytotoxicity assay using primary murine NK cells enriched from splenocytes that were activated in vivo with poly(I:C). For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Wagner et al. (2020).
- Cell culture
- Cell isolation
- Cell-based assays
- Flow cytometry/mass cytometry