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Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) recognize surface markers on other cells in the body that label those cells for destruction. In this way, CTLs help to keep virus-infected or malignant cells in check. Here, a smaller CTL is attacking and killing a much larger influenza virus-infected target. The sequence represents 30 minutes elapsed time. The changing morphology of the target cell is typical of that seen in the process of apoptosis. It was recorded with Mark T. Esser and Vivian Lam Braciale while they were at the University of Virginia.
cytotoxic T lymphocyte, CD4 T lymphocyte, CD8 T lymphocyte, cancer vaccine, natural killer cell, apoptosis, tumor induced lymphocyte