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Cell Mol Immunol. 2009 Feb;6(1):15-25. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2009.3.

Cell death mechanisms induced by cytotoxic lymphocytes.

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  • 1Departamento de Bioquimica, Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Respiratorias "Ismael Cosio Villegas", Mexico.

Abstract

One of the functions of the immune system is to recognize and destroy abnormal or infected cells to maintain homeostasis. This is accomplished by cytotoxic lymphocytes. Cytotoxicity is a highly organized multifactor process. Here, we reviewed the apoptosis pathways induced by the two main cytotoxic lymphocyte subsets, natural killer (NK) cells and CD8+ T cells. In base to recent experimental evidence, we reviewed NK receptors involved in recognition of target-cell, as well as lytic molecules such as perforin, granzymes-A and -B, and granulysin. In addition, we reviewed the Fas-FasL intercellular linkage mediated pathway, and briefly the cross-linking of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and TNF receptor pathway. We discussed three models of possible molecular interaction between lytic molecules from effector cytotoxic cells and target-cell membrane to induction of apoptosis.

PMID:
19254476
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4002546
Free PMC Article
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