Herberman, Ronald B. Biological Development Branch, National Cancer Institute, Frederick Cancer Research Facility, Frederick, Maryland.
- Antibody-mediated cytotoxicity
- Cytotoxic T lymphocytes
- Macrophage-medicated cytotoxicity
- Natural killer cells
- Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The mechanism by which the immune system destroys or damages foreign or abnormal cells. Immunologic cytotoxicity may lead to complete loss of viability of the target cells (cytolysis) or an inhibition of the ability of the cells to continue growing (cytostasis). Immunologic cytotoxicity can be manifested against a wide variety of target cells, including malignant cells, normal cells from individuals unrelated to the responding host, and normal cells of the host that are infected with viruses or other microorganisms. In addition, the immune system can cause direct cytotoxic effects on some microorganisms, including bacteria, parasites, and fungi.
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