cytotoxic T cell

noun

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

Word History

First Known Use

1975, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cytotoxic T cell was in 1975

Dictionary Entries Near cytotoxic T cell

Cite this Entry

“Cytotoxic T cell.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cytotoxic%20T%20cell. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Medical Definition

cytotoxic T cell

noun
variants also cytotoxic T lymphocyte
: 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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