Our eLearning courses were developed to provide a succinct, contextual summary of common laboratory techniques and methods used by researchers with an interest in protein and cell analysis workflows. At the end of each course, take an opportunity to apply the theory that you learned by completing the associated practical application exercises. 

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The T Cell Stimulation and Proliferation eLearning Course comprises two learning modules and a practical application module.

Learning module part 1 covers these aspects of T cell biology in translational biomedical science:

  • Basic T cell biology in the context of the wider immune system,
  • T cell structure and function, T cell receptor signaling
  • T cell activation and proliferation (antigen presenting cell interactions and T effector functions)
  • T cell subsets (including subset-specific signature cytokines and other proteins)

Learning module part 2 covers T cell isolation and in vitro activation, assessment of T cell activation, proliferation, and differentiation by these methods:

  • Flow cytometric analysis
  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs)
  • Multiplex Luminex assays

Practical Application module gives you the opportunity to design a multiparameter flow cytometric experiment to assess T cell activity, using what you have learned in Parts 1 and 2.

Learning objectives

After completion of the T Cell Stimulation and Proliferation eLearning Course, you should be able to:

  • Explain how T cell biology research contributes to advances in modern medical science
  • Define the origin and nature of the T cell
  • Detail the role of T cells in the adaptive immune response
  • List and differentiate T-helper and T-cytotoxic subsets
  • Discuss how the T cell subsets manifest effector function through cytokine secretion or direct cell-mediated cytotoxicity
  • Identify structural components of the T cell receptor (TCR)
  • Describe key interactions and signaling processes required for T cell activation
  • Detail key signaling pathways and transcription factors downstream of the TCR
  • List phenotypic differences between naïve and activated T cells

Video excerpt from the eLearning Course

Below is an example of the content within the T Cell Stimulation and Proliferation Course.

Example of technical content

Figure 1. Role of T cells in adaptive immune response.

Here we present an example of the content from the T Cell Stimulation and Proliferation eLearning course.

Role of T Cells

T cells are primarily involved in adaptive rather than innate immune responses. Adaptive immunity is mediated by both CD4 and CD8-positive T cells and by antibody-producing B cells. Adaptive immunity is a relatively slow response triggered by the recognition antigens. Importantly, the adaptive immune response improves with time and results in the generation of immunological memory and long-lasting protection.

The innate immune response provides for a rapid first-line of defense against infection and is promoted by a diverse array of immune cell types shown here. Innate immunity is not dependent upon prior antigen exposure and does not result in immunological memory.

Following antigen exposure (Figure 1), stimulated T cells undergo clonal expansion and differentiate into effector cells that manifest effector function through cell-mediated cytotoxicity or cytokine secretion.  In order to proliferate, differentiate, and express effector function, activated T cells undergo a significant shift in phenotype compared to their naïve counterparts.

This shift involves the induction of a myriad of factors including effector cytokines, lineage-restricted transcription factors, and surface markers such as co-stimulatory molecules, immune checkpoint proteins, adhesion molecules, chemokine receptors, and other receptor proteins.