Image of the Day: Training Day

A video captures T cells learning to recognize cells from the body that shouldn’t be attacked.

Chia-Yi Hou
May 24, 2019
Mouse T cells (purple and white) learn to recognize other cells (yellow) as “self” so they won’t attack.

Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin captured the process in which developing killer T cells are tested by dendritic and others types of cells to see if they react to normal proteins from the body, called self-antigens. This safety check ensures that the T cells don’t harm normal cells in the body and cause autoimmune disorders.

J.N. Lancaster et al., “Live-cell imaging reveals the relative contributions of antigen-presenting cell subsets to thymic central tolerance,” Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/s41467-019-09727-4, 2019.