|CTL or CD8+ T cell killing a virus infected cell|
What does Wikipedia have to say about CTLs? ….. A cytotoxic T cell (also known as TC, cytotoxic T lymphocyte, CTL, T-killer cell, cytolytic T cell, CD8+ T-cells or killer T cell) is a T lymphocyte (a type of white blood cell) that kills cancer cells, cells that are infected (particularly with viruses), or cells that are damaged in other ways.Most cytotoxic T cells express T-cell receptors (TCRs) that can recognize a specific antigen. An antigen is a molecule capable of stimulating an immune response, and is often produced by cancer cells or viruses. Antigens inside a cell are bound to class I MHC molecules, and brought to the surface of the cell by the class I MHC molecule, where they can be recognized by the T cell. If the TCR is specific for that antigen, it binds to the complex of the class I MHC molecule and the antigen and the T cell destroys the cell. In order for the TCR to bind to the class I MHC molecule, the former must be accompanied by a glycoprotein called CD8, which binds to the constant portion of the class I MHC molecule. Therefore, these T cells are called CD8+ T cells.The affinity between CD8 and the MHC molecule keeps the TC cell and the target cell bound closely together during antigen-specific activation. CD8+ T cells are recognized as TC cells once they become activated and are generally classified as having a pre-defined cytotoxic role within the immune system. However, CD8+ T cells also have the ability to make some cytokines…..
METHODS: Peripheral blood leukocyte and lymphocyte subsets, including CD3(+), CD4(+), and CD8(+) T cells; CD19(+) B cells; and CD56(+) natural killer (NK) cells, were obtained at baseline and monitored at 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months after initiation of DMF treatment.
RESULTS: Total leukocyte and lymphocyte counts diminished after 6 months of DMF therapy. At 12 months, lymphocyte counts had decreased by 50.1% (p < 0.0001) and were below the lower limit of normal (LLN) in one-half of patients. CD3(+) T lymphocyte counts fell by 44.2% (p < 0.0001). Among subsets, CD8(+) T cell counts declined by 54.6% (p < 0.0001), whereas CD4(+) T cell counts decreased by 39.2% (p = 0.0006). This disproportionate reduction of CD8(+) T cells relative to CD4(+) T cells was significant (p = 0.007) and was reflected by a 35.5% increase in the CD4/CD8 ratio (p = 0.007). A majority of CD8(+) T cell counts, but not CD4(+) T cell counts, were below the LLN even when total lymphocyte counts were greater than 500 cells/μL. CD19(+) B cell counts were reduced by 37.5% (p = 0.035). Eosinophil levels decreased by 54.1% (p = 0.006), whereas levels of neutrophils, monocytes, basophils, and NK cells were not significantly altered.
CONCLUSION: Subsets of peripheral blood leukocytes and lymphocytes are differentially affected by DMF treatment of MS. Reduction of CD8(+) T cells is more pronounced than that of CD4(+) T cells. These findings may have implications for cell-mediated antiviral immunity during DMF treatment.