cytotoxic T cell

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Related to killer T cell: Cytotoxic T lymphocytes

cytotoxic T cell

[¦sīd·ə‚täk·sik ′tē ‚sel]
(immunology)
A type of T cell which protects against pathogens that invade host cell cytoplasm, where they cannot be bound by antibodies, by recognizing and killing the host cell before the pathogens can proliferate and escape.
References in periodicals archive ?
CD4 helper T cells, which normally assist other cells of the immune system during an infection, and CD8 killer T cells, which directly attack and eliminate infected cells, are two of the body's most important immune cells for defending against diseases.
"However, until now, there has been little understanding of how these killer T cells find their way to the virus," she added.
Primed by the proteins encoded by the AIDS vaccine, killer T cells attacked virus-infected CD4 T cells.
The instructor cells instruct CD8 T cells to become killer T cells to kill infected cells or cancer cells - and to remain vigilant if they reencounter pathogens or if the cancer comes back.
They plan to remove killer T cells from tumors of patients and culture those cells with GP2 in order to spur recognition of this target.
The cell's machinery recognizes that viral protein as foreign and escorts it to the surface of the cell -- where it flags the attention of killer T cells.