Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes: Generation and Cellular Properties

While the involvement of CTL in the destruction of cells compromised by intracellular parasites has driven much of the recent research into the biological role of CTL, in fact their initial discovery emerged from a long history of trying to understand the basis for tumor immunity, hypersensitivity reactions, and especially allogeneic transplant (allograft) rejection (Chapter 7). All of these phenomena had the hallmarks of immune reactions, such as the involvement of lymphoid cells, specificity, and memory, but they could not be fully accounted for by antibody – the only immune mediator with these properties known in the first half of the twentieth century.


Accessory Cell Cytotoxic Function Target Cell Lysis Allogeneic Tumor Cell Killer Lymphocyte 
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© Springer 2007

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