Question n°4

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T Cell smaller


T-cells, also known as T lymphocytes, are a type of white blood cell that is of key importance to the immune system and is at the core of adaptive immunity, the system that tailors the body’s immune response to specific pathogens. The abbreviation "T" stands for thymus, the organ in which their final stage of development occurs [1]. The T cells are like soldiers who search out and destroy the targeted invaders.

French research has been fruitful in immunology (the scientific study of the structure and function of the immune system).

In 1989, Marie-Paule Lefranc (Université Montpellier 2 and CNRS) created the IMGT, the international ImMunoGeneTics information system which became the international reference in immunogenetics and immunoinformatics. This system consists of 4 databases and provides a high-quality integrated knowledge resource, specialized in the immunoglobulins or antibodies, T cell receptors, major histocompatibility complex of human and other vertebrates and related proteins of the immune system [2].

More recently, Jules Hoffman, CNRS research director and professor at the University of Strasbourg was awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, jointly with Bruce A. Beutler, for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity. Their findings have revolutionized current understanding of the immune system by disclosing the main keys to its activation. They share the prestigious award with Ralph M. Steinman for his works on dendritic cells and their role in adaptive immunity [3].

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