Molecular Interactions in T-Cell Mediated Cytotoxicity: Discrimination between the Binding and Lethal Hit Stages of Cytolysis
The role of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in immunity has been well documented. The exact mechanism, however, by which a CTL kills a corresponding target cell is not known. Several studies have investigated the mechanism of lysis using different probes and these have been reviewed extensively (1–4). These studies showed that T-cell-mediated cytotoxicity (CMC) can be resolved into at least three distinct steps, namely recognition or binding, programming for lysis or the lethal hit, and target cell disintegration in the so-called lymphocyte-independent phase. These studies have therefore suggested that multiple cell-cell interactions between effector cell (EC) and target cell (TC) may be involved in cytolysis.
KeywordsTarget Cell Conjugate Formation Target Cell Lysis Recognition Step Cytolytic Process
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