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T Cells – What are they?

T Cells – What are they?

Many of us may be knowing what are these T Cells (Thymus Cells) and how are they important. T Cells have once again come into focus in the context of Covid-19 Pandemic. Boosting the function and quantity of T Cells in our body is important in Covid-19 Patients to ensure recovery.

What is a T Cell

T Cell is a type of Lymphocyte and one of the important White Blood Cells of the Immune System playing a central role in the Adaptive Immune Response. A Lymphocyte is a type of White Blood Cell in the Immune System of most of the Vertebrates. Lymphocytes include Natural Killer Cells, T Cells and B Cells and are the main type of Cell found in the Lymph. So we now understand that T Cells are important for us. T Cells are born from Hematopoietic Stem Cells found in the Bone Marrow. The developing T Cells migrate to the Thymus Gland and gets matured there.

Life and Function

T Cells circulate until they encounter their specific Antigen rather than generally attacking any Antigens. Any substance that induces the Immune System to produce Antibodies against it is known as Antigens. The life of T Cell was not known very much until recently. T Cells come into the scene after being alerted by other Immune System Warriors about an invasion by a Microbe or silent seeding of a Cancer. Studies were done extensively to find out how T Cells obtain the energy they need to build a strong army for protection. Studies in this field by scientists are leading to some clear picture.

T Cells are important in the context of Infectious Diseases but are used for other aspects of Adaptive Immunity. In infancy, T Cells are critical for developing immunity towards common Pathogens (Bacteria and Virus) or Antigens. In adults, they function mainly to maintain Homeostasis and Immunoregulation of repeat or chronically encountered Antigens. T Cells are not activated until they find a specific Antigen. Once they find it, they bind to this Antigen on the surface of Antigen-presenting Cells (APCs). There are several types of T Cells like CD4 Helper T Cells and CD8 Cytotoxic T Cells and Regulatory T Cells. They form the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) together.

Read about T Cells here

More reading about T Cells

Information published here is only for public awareness and collected from various sources

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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