Cytotoxic T cells (Tc cells, CTLs, T-killer cells, killer T cells) destroy virus-infected cells and tumor cells, and are also implicated in transplant rejection. These cells are also known as CD8+ T cells because they express the CD8 glycoprotein at their surfaces. Cytotoxic T cells use their specific T cell receptor to recognize their targets by binding to antigen associated with MHC class I molecules, which are present on the surface of all nucleated cells. Through cytokines (e.g IL-10) and other molecules secreted by regulatory T cells, the CD8+ cells can be inactivated to an anergic state, which prevents autoimmune diseases.
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