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What is the role of T-lymphocyte surveillance in neoplastic disease?

Rothenberg, Ellen (1982) What is the role of T-lymphocyte surveillance in neoplastic disease? American Journal of Surgery, 143 (6). pp. 664-669. ISSN 0002-9610. doi:10.1016/0002-9610(82)90032-0.

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Dramatic advances have recently been made in our comprehension of how thymus-derived (T) lymphocytes function. Principles of both antigen-specific and nonspecific modes of their action in cell-mediated immunity are summarized as follows. First, different functions are carried out by distinct, separable populations of T lymphocytes. Second, all T-cell responses depend on interaction between cells of different functional subclasses. Thus, target cell killing of cytotoxic T lymphocytes depends on separate, coincident recognition of antigen by pre-cytotoxic T lymphocytes and by amplifier T cells that supply a nonspecific but critical lymphokine. Immunosuppressive drugs such as cyclosporin A and dexamethasone block this interaction at different points. Antigen-specific amplifier T cells also secrete various polypeptide factors that augment the impact of macrophage cytotoxicity, and immune interferon, which stimulates natural killer (NK) cells. Thus, even in cases where T cells are not the effectors, activation of T cells can potentiate host defenses. However, immune paralysis can result from stimulation of antigen-specific suppressor T cells. These act on effector cells directly or on their amplifier cells. The route of immunization often influences the balance between suppression and activation. Suppressor and amplifier T cells may be killed differentially by drugs like cyclophosphamide. Other cases of nonresponsiveness result from the way T cells actually recognize antigen. T cells only react with antigen in cell-surface complexes with self-histocompatibility antigen. Some otherwise-stimulatory antigens cannot form immunogenic complexes with the products of certain histocompatibility alleles, so that nonresponsiveness to those antigens is genetically predetermined. Overall, the centrality of T-lymphocyte surveillance in controlling spontaneous neoplasms is challenged by the low incidence of malignancy in T cell-deficient animals. This controversy will be examined both with reference to the lesions in T-cell development in these cases and with reference to the auxiliary roles played by T cells in amplifying the responses of non-T effector cells.

Item Type:Article
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Rothenberg, Ellen0000-0002-3901-347X
Additional Information:© 1982 Elsevier Inc. Presented at the Seventh Annual Lyman A. Brewer III Cardiothoracic Symposium, Los Angeles, California, December 9–11, 1981.
Issue or Number:6
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170206-145740897
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Official Citation:Ellen Rothenberg, What is the role of T-lymphocyte surveillance in neoplastic disease?, The American Journal of Surgery, Volume 143, Issue 6, 1982, Pages 664-669, ISSN 0002-9610, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:74100
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:06 Feb 2017 23:39
Last Modified:11 Nov 2021 05:24

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