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Encyclopedia > Cytotoxicity

Cytotoxicity is the quality of being poisonous to cells. This can be a chemical substance or an immune cell.

Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) describes the cell-killing ability of certain lymphocytes, which requires the target cell being marked by an antibody. Lymphocyte-mediated cytotoxicity, on the other hand, does not have to be mediated by antibodies.

Three groups of cytotoxic T lymphocytes are distingushed: antigenic (immunized) T lymphocytes, killer cells, and natural killer cells.

  Results from FactBites:
BioCarta - Charting Pathways of Life (323 words)
Cytotoxic T cells are a key part of the cellular immune response, killing cells that display foreign antigen on their surface, primarily virus-infected cells.
Cytotoxic T cell activation also requires additional signals provided by helper T cells in addition to signals provided by antigen-presenting cells.
Interaction of activated cytotoxic T cells is aided by increased expression of LFA-1, a cell-adhesion molecule that binds to ICAM on target cells.
Takayasu's Arteritis And Cytotoxic Drugs (1151 words)
Since cytotoxic drugs are very potent and may have serious side effects, doctors prescribe them only when the arthritis is severe and other simpler or safer drugs have failed to bring relief.
Cytotoxic drugs can be used to treat many forms of arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, as well as conditions such as steroid-resistant polymyositis or dermatomyositis, Wegener's granulomatosis, polyarteritis or some forms of vasculitis.
When considering treatment with cytotoxic drugs, you, your doctor, and your family will want to consider factors such as the severity of your disease, the potential benefits of the drug as well as the potential side effects.
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