Effector Functions Of Cd8 Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes

CD8+ CTLs eliminate intracellular microbes mainly by killing infected cells (see Fig. 10-1B). The development of a CD8+ CTL response to infection proceeds through similar steps as those described for CD4+ T cell responses, including antigen-mediated stimulation of naive CD8+ T cells in lymphoid organs, clonal expansion, differentiation, and migration of differentiated CTLs into tissues. These events were described in Chapter 9. In addition to direct cell killing, CD8+ T cells secrete IFN-y and thus contribute to macrophage activation in host defense and in hypersensitivity reactions. Here we discuss the mechanisms by which differentiated CTLs kill cells harboring microbes.

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