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Cell-mediated immunity of natural killer and CD8 cells
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And there are two types of T cells.
Helper T cells primarily support other immune cells, whereas cytotoxic T cells kill cells that are infected with a pathogen or are cancerous.
That makes sense since both natural killer and cytotoxic T cells need to interact directly with a target cell in order to destroy it.
Now, when a T cell is initially formed it’s considered naive.
This process of priming requires two signals.
Cytotoxic T cells respond to intracellular antigens - like viruses, intracellular bacteria, and tumor antigens.
The naive cytotoxic T cell needs a high level of stimulation to become activated and it relies on a process called cross-presentation to reach that level.
These antigens typically come from extracellular pathogens or from tumor cells or virally infected cells.
Natural killer cells are innate lymphocytes that play a critical role in the early response to viral infection and cancer. They detect virus-infected cells and eliminate them before they can spread the infection. CD8 cells are cytotoxic T lymphocytes that recognize and kill infected or mutated cells. CD8 cells also secrete cytokines that stimulate the immune response. Both natural killer cells and CD8 cells are essential in protecting against cancer and infections.
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