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Signals Affecting Memory CD8+ T-cell Response - Essay Example

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The essay "Signals Affecting Memory CD8+ T-cell Response" discusses the role of signals in shaping the characteristics of the memory CD8+ T-cell response and explores how manipulation of these signals potentially reshape CD8+ T-cell memory improving the efficacy of vaccination…
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Signals Affecting Memory CD8+ T-cell Response
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Download file to see previous pages Most of the T-cells in the body belong to one of two subsets. The presence of one or the other of two glycoproteins makes them distinguishable as CD4 and CD8 type of T-cells. The CD8+ T-cells bind epitopes that are part of the class I histocompatibility molecules. Almost all cells of the body express class I molecules. These cells have the role of recognizing antigens on the surface of a virus-infected cell, binding to the cell ultimately destroying it.
Recent research in immunotherapy has lead to an understanding that by enhancing certain immune responses it might be possible to develop better approaches to treat allergic and infectious diseases as well as aid in developing better vaccines (Bardi J.S., 2006). CD8+ T-cells play an important role in eliciting an immune response to invading pathogens and other noxious stimuli. These cells are also known as cytotoxic T-cells, and it has recently been found that their movement to the site of action is not random but guided by chemical signals released from other cells. Initially, the CD8+ T-cells are activated and mobilized in the lymph nodes. Once activated, they roam throughout the body and destroy cells infected with bacteria and viruses. The whole process is known as cell-mediated immunity. Once the CD8+ cells encounter an infected cell, they release to destroy the cell membrane and the protein content of the infected cell by releasing a plethora of lytic substances and concurrently produce molecules that help activate other immune cells. After the initial infection has been dealt with, some of these CD8+ T-cells keep circulating inside the body as memory cells which have specificity for the same pathogen if reinfection occurs. These memory cells are the key factors on which newer vaccination strategies are under current intensive research. There are many other factors responsible for the activation of CD8+ cells to sustain as memory cells within the lymph node. Inside the lymph nodes, a combination of physical and chemical cues guide these cells towards the sites of activation. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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