Encyclopedia > Helper T cell

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Helper T cell

A helper (or TH) T cell is a T cell (a type of white blood cell) which has on its surface antigen receptors that can bind to fragments of antigens displayed by the Class II MHC molecules of infected somatic cells.

Once bound to an antigen, the TH cell proliferates and differentiates into activated TH cells and memory TH cells.

Most TH cells have present on the cell surface the protein CD4[?], which is attracted to portions of the Class II MHC molecule. This affinity keeps the TH cell and the target cell bound closely together during antigen-specific activation. TH cells with CD4 surface protein are called CD4+ T cells.

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