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What are helper T cells?

Question:

What are helper T cells?

Immunity:

The body must build up immunity in order to fight colds and infection. Different types of white blood cells are what help us to fight off colds, diseases and other infections. As the immune cells are exposed to different viruses and bacteria the become better at fighting off foreign pathogens.

Answer and Explanation:

Helper T cells are a type of white blood cell that helps fight infection.

These cells are produced in the bone marrow and then sent to the thymus gland to mature. Once they mature they are still considered new or na?ve because they have not been exposed to any foreign pathogens.

Helper T cells are the cells that recognize if a pathogen is foreign. Certain white blood cells will digest bacteria and viruses and then present pieces of them on the outside of their cells to the helper T cells for recognition. If it is determined that the material is foreign the helper T cells will be activated. The cells will multiply into more helper T cells and specialized ones.

Three types of helper T cells will be produced. Effector helper T cells, Memory helper T cells and Regulatory Helper T cells.

Effector helper T cells will release signals to activate other white blood cells. Memory helper T cells will be ready in the case of a secondary infection. Regulatory helper T cells regulate the immune response so the immune system doesn't damage the body.


Learn more about this topic:

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Helper T Cells: Definition & Function

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Chapter 17 / Lesson 23
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White blood cells are important for the immune response in humans. These cells come in many forms, and each type has a particular function in the overall process of immunity. This lesson addresses one of those cell types: the helper T cell.


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