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.