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CD8 + T Cell (Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte) (CTLs) Print E-mail

Dr. Kennedy The CD8 + T Cell (Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte) is a T cell. T cells are cell "soldiers" which search out and destroy the targeted invaders. The "T" stands for "thymus" -- the organ in which these cells mature (as opposed to B cells which mature in the bone marrow) and they are antigen-specific and thus able to search out and kill specific types of virus-infected cells. When cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTLs) find cells carrying the viral peptide they are looking for, they induce these cells to secrete proteins that attract nearby macrophages (a type of white blood cells). These macrophages then surround and destroy the infected cells. CTLs are therefore important in the body's response to viruses and cancer. CTLs express the CD8 transmembrane glycoprotein and are therefore also known as CD8 + T cells or CT cells.



The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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