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London, January 21 ( ANI ): Researchers have discovered the mechanism that enables CD4 helper T cells to assume the more aggressive role of killer T cells in mounting an immune attack against viruses, cancerous tumors and other damaged or infected cells.
But helper T cells don't issue their typical cry when they're attacked by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Heterogeneity of cytokine secretion patterns and functions of helper T cells.
These class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins present the peptides to immune cells called helper T cells, which coordinate the body's response.
In a normal functioning immune system, IL-2 is secreted by helper T cells to recruit CTLs, which destroy diseased cells.
Schoenberger and his team had shown that helper T cells enable killer T cells to survive when they re-encounter infected cells.
However, it may be possible to remove helper T cells from a human patient and stimulate them so that all the cells that recognize a given virus grow.
Although the basic cause of rheumatoid arthritis remains unclear, immune cells known as CD4 helper T cells seem to carry some blame.