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In Defense of SelfHow the Immune System Really Works$
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William R. Clark

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195336634

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336634.001.0001

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T Cells: The Second Arm of Adapative Immunity

T Cells: The Second Arm of Adapative Immunity

(p.43) 4 T Cells: The Second Arm of Adapative Immunity
In Defense of Self

William R. Clark

Oxford University Press

B cells and antibodies are only one arm of the adaptive immune system, specialized in removing foreign material from blood and lymph. The second arm of the adaptive system consists of T cells, which detect and kill cells in the body — “self” cells — that have been invaded by microbes. All viruses invade cells, as do some bacteria. T cells are a major defense against viral infection. There are two types of T cells: CD4 helper cells and CD8 killer cells. Helper cells assist B cells in making antibody, and help CD8 cells mature to kill microbially infected cells. Killer cells are also involved in graft rejection, and in the body's response to cancer.

Keywords:   T cells, CD4 cells, CD8 cells, antigen recognition, cancer

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