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Killer T cells | by National Institutes of Health (NIH)
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Killer T cells

One of the most important roles of the immune system is to clear the body of viruses and cancer cells. This job is performed by killer T cells which hunt down and destroy tumors and virally-infected cells. In this immunofluorescence image, a killer T cell (blue) is engaging a target cell. A patch of signaling molecules (pink) that gathers at the site of cell-cell contact indicates that the CTL has identified a target. Lytic granules (red) that contain cytotoxic components then travel along the microtubule cytoskeleton (green) to the contact site and are secreted, thus killing the target.

 

Credit: Alex Ritter, Jennifer Lippincott Schwartz and Gillian Griffiths, National Institutes of Health

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Uploaded on August 18, 2015