Ultrastructure of conjugates of cytolytic T lymphocytes and target cells

  • S. N. Bykovskaya
  • M. O. Raushenbakh
  • A. N. Rytenko
  • A. F. Bykovskii
Microbiology and Immunology


Conjugates of target cells and cytolytic T lymphocytes, isolated on the 11th day after alloimmunization, were investigated. Conjugates were formed by small and medium-sized lymphocytes, in the cytoplasm of which mature secretory granules, crystalloid structures, and lipids were found. The lymphocyte was spherical in shape and its area of contact with the target cell did not exceed 5–15%. Cytolysis of the target cells was observed after incubation for 30–60 min. The lymphocyte became flatter, its nucleus became oval in shape, and the area of its contact with the target cell increased. Meanwhile, hypertrophy and a change in the orientation of the Golgi complex were found in the zone of contact with the target cell, fusion of the secretory granules with the lipids and crystalloid structures took place, and immature secretory granules and vacuolar degeneration of the mitochondria appeared. “Peeling” of the lymphocyte membrane was observed, and structures connected with it and called “membranosomes” are described. It is suggested that secretory processes are activated in the cytoplasm of cytolytic T lymphocytes during their interaction with target cells.

Key Words

cytolytic T lymphocytes Golgi complex secretory granules 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. N. Bykovskaya
  • M. O. Raushenbakh
  • A. N. Rytenko
  • A. F. Bykovskii

There are no affiliations available

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