How T cells are able to kill other cells is no more a complete mystery. As assessed by short-term cytotoxicity tests in vitro, they seem to use two distinct mechanisms, perforin/granzyme-based and Fas-based, respectively. These seem to be in vitro correlates of, in particular, in vivo defense mechanisms against intracellular pathogens and down regulatory reactions within the immune system, while they do not seem to account entirely for graft rejection.

See also: Adhesion molecules; CD28; Cell-mediated lysis; Cytotoxic T lymphocytes; Cytotoxicity, assays for; Lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells; Natural killer (NK) cells; Perforin.

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