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Subject - Immunology

MHC is the abbreviation for major histocompatibility complex. A cell's MHC is like an identity card. The immune cells use it to determine whether a cell belongs to their own organism or is a foreign body.

In subtype MHC I, cells present samples of proteins they have produced to the cytotoxic CD8 T cells.

In subtype MHC II, phagocytes present fragments of absorbed and destroyed materials (dead cells, bacteria, parasites, viruses) to the CD4 T helper cells and inflammatory CD4 T cells.

Both classes of MHC are transmembrane proteins. The MHC is loaded with the fragment to be presented in the endoplasmic reticulum. This MHC-antigen complex is then brought to the cell surface in a vesicle.

See also: macrophages , T cells

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