Where do precursor T lymphocytes go
to complete their maturation?
The immune system uses specialized
cells to fight off infections. These cells are generally named
white blood cells. There are many different types of
white blood cells, and they each play a specific role in the immune system. Let’s discuss T lymphocytes, a type
of white blood cell, in greater detail.
T lymphocytes, also called T cells,
come in three varieties and carry out three functions in the immune system. Helper T lymphocytes, or helper T
cells, activate other T cells and stimulate B cells to produce antibodies against a
certain pathogen. Cytotoxic T lymphocytes, or
cytotoxic T cells, destroy infected or diseased cells. Suppressor T lymphocytes, also
known as suppressor T cells, suppress the action of the immune system, stopping it
from attacking the body.
All white blood cells are made in
the bone marrow, where there are stem cells that can differentiate into one of two
types of cell: a myeloid progenitor cell or a lymphoid progenitor cell. Lymphocytes develop from lymphoid
progenitor cells. To complete their maturation, some
lymphoid progenitor cells travel to the thymus. This is an organ found near the
trachea between the lungs. The cells that mature and
differentiate here are thymus cell lymphocytes, or T cells. The mature T lymphocytes will then
enter the bloodstream to play their role in our immune response.
Now we know precursor T lymphocytes
complete their maturation in the thymus.