NK-92 cells retain vitality and functionality when grown in standard cell culture conditions

Rebecca Kotzur, Alexandra Duev-Cohen, Inbal Kol, Adi Reches, Ofer Mandelboim*, Natan Stein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


NK-92 cells are an off-the-shelf, cell-based immunotherapy currently in clinical trials for a variety of cancer types. As the most 'NK-like' cell line available, it is also an important research tool. To date, NK-92 cells have been cultivated in a costly and time-consumingly prepared specialized medium, complicating research with these cells. Here we show that NK-92 cells grow in the comparatively user-friendly RPMI medium supplemented with IL-2. We demonstrate that their metabolic activity and replication rates are even improved in RPMI. Furthermore, they can be grown in cell culture dishes and do not need to be expanded in ventilated flasks. We show that in RPMI the cells retain functional characteristics relating to receptor expression, IFN-γ secretion, and killing. Our findings will enable more researchers to work with and manipulate this cell line, hopefully leading to further discoveries and improved therapies.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere0264897
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3 March
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Kotzur et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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