Immunological Cytotoxicity Studies: in vitro


The immune system has evolved a variety of strategies to protect the host from detrimental effects of pathogens and tumour cells; the most beneficial outcome, however, is induction of an apoptotic death for the offending cell. Immune‐mediated killing occurs through granule secretion and ‘death receptor’ pathways. Cytotoxicity assays have traditionally evaluated membrane permeabilization. With the realization that death in vivo is apoptotic, a host of novel approaches have been devised to evaluate this form of physiological cell death.

Keywords: immunology; lymphocyte cell‐mediated cytotoxicity; death receptor‐mediated apoptosis; granule‐mediated apoptosis; techniques


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Sitkovsky MV and Henkart PA (eds) (2000) Cytotoxic Cells. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

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Froelich, Christopher J, and Mektar, Sunil(Apr 2001) Immunological Cytotoxicity Studies: in vitro. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001178]