Watch T-Cells Destroy A Cancer Cell In A Surprisingly Artistic Way

Post 4584

Esther Inglis-Arkell

http://io9.com/watch-t-cells-destroy-a-cancer-cell-in-a-surprisingly-a-1704770298

Watch T-Cells Destroy A Cancer Cell In A Surprisingly Artistic Way

Want to see how T cells in the bloodstream destroy cancer cells? This video will show you these cells cracking open and poisoning intruder cells.

By taking time-lapse footage of T cells in the body, researchers at the University of Cambridge show us how these cells find and kill cancer cells. What they found is that a T cell attack looks like a cross between a squid investigating a submarine and an attack by an aggressive firestorm.

First the T cells examine the other cells to make sure they belong in the body. If they find out that a cell doesn’t, they crack it open, send out a tube, and inject cytotoxins that cause the poisoned cell to undergo apoptosis, or programmed cell death.

There are millions of T cells in every teaspoon of blood, all of them carrying cytotoxins. The aspiring supervillain in me wonders if you could ever dissolve the outer membranes in T cells, poisoning people with their released cytotoxins.

Medical io9ers, weigh in on this!

[Source:Actin depletion initiates events leading to granule secretion at the immunological synapse.]

 

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