Pan T Cells are one of the most common type of human cells used in preclinical research and provide a useful tool for studying various aspects of immunology and pathology. Specifically, researchers use human T cells to develop new immunotherapies and study disease mechanisms.
T cells are a major component of the adaptive immune system and are key mediators of cellular immunity. These cells express T cell receptors (TCRs), which are surface proteins that recognize abnormal cells, cancer cells, cells from other organisms, and cells infected with a virus.
In contrast to B cells, which directly bind antigens, T cells recognize only small peptide fragments bound to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules (known as human leukocyte antigens in humans).
T cells are further subdivided into CD4+ or CD8+ T cell populations, based on CD4 or CD8 coreceptor expression, respectively. When TCRs interact with peptide-bound MHC molecules in the presence of costimulatory molecules, T cells secrete cytokines which trigger an immune response.
Once activated, T cells induce rapid cell expansion and attack virus-infected cells or tumor cells.
After T cells destroy the infected cells, they enter a contraction phase, during which the cell count declines and memory T cells are generated.
Given the high importance of these cells in early-stage research, biopharma companies tend to work with biospecimen suppliers with a proven history of delivering PBMCs with high viability, purity and functionality.