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What are T cells and why are they important to NMO?

Published on April 2, 2010

Scott Zamvil, MD, PhD – Mayo Clinic:

T cells are a type of lymphocyte, and T cells are really the general, or the CEO, or the conductor for the immune system in directing other lymphocytes to cause the effect that they may have. For example, we know that B cells make antibodies, and neuromyelitis optica is caused by antibodies, and those antibodies are made outside the central nervous system to a large extent. And the T cells tell the B cells how to make the antibodies, or tell them which type of antibodies to make, and when to make it. And again, when those antibodies are made, they actually then can enter into the central nervous system, and that is where they cause some of the dysfunction that we have, or the symptoms that we get, with NMO.


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