cytotoxic T cell

noun
variants: or less commonly cytotoxic T lymphocyte
plural cytotoxic T cells also cytotoxic T lymphocytes

Definition of cytotoxic T cell

: a T cell that usually bears CD8 molecular markers on its surface and that functions in cell-mediated immunity by destroying a cell (such as a virus-infected cell) having a specific antigenic molecule displayed on its surface Viruses use many tricks to persist in an immunocompetent host, one of them being mutation of the sequences (epitopes) recognized by the host's viral-specific cytotoxic T cells.— Rolf M. Zinkernagel and Hans Hengartner cytotoxic T cells which recognize foreign determinants in association with class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens.— Pauline Johnson et al.

called also cytolytic T cell, killer T cell

First Known Use of cytotoxic T cell

1975, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of cytotoxic T cell was in 1975

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Cite this Entry

“Cytotoxic T cell.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cytotoxic%20T%20cell. Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for cytotoxic T cell

cytotoxic T cell

noun
variants: also cytotoxic T lymphocyte

Medical Definition of cytotoxic T cell

: a T cell that usually bears CD8 molecular markers on its surface and that functions in cell-mediated immunity by destroying a cell (as a virus-infected cell) having a specific antigenic molecule on its surface Viruses use many tricks to persist in an immunocompetent host, one of them being mutation of the sequences (epitopes) recognized by the host's viral-specific cytotoxic T cells.— Rolf M. Zinkernagel and Hans Hengartner

called also CTL, cytolytic T cell, cytolytic T lymphocyte, killer T cell, killer T lymphocyte

— compare helper t cell, suppressor t cell

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