CD45 protein is excluded from tips of T cell surface membrane prior to meeting antigens
Under attack, our immune system’s T cells prepare to receive an antigen – a chemical fingerprint they’ll use to recognise a pathogen – so they have to be ready. Using expansion microscopy to swell tiny biological details, here scientists capture the T-cell’s microvilli – tiny hair-like structures bristling out from the T-cells’ membranes (shown here in cross-section). Researchers believe the microvilli brush against the antigen, helping to activate a T-cell and awaken the immune response. Molecules moving into and out of the microvilli’s tips, (highlighted in purple, green and yellow) may help to prepare the T-cell for receiving the antigen. Understanding these early steps help scientists discover how some pathogens avoid discovery, or develop new therapies to help those with weakened immune systems.
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