MHC and Tcell subsets

MHC molecules interact with both the T-cell receptor and the coreceptor molecules CD4 and CD8 on the T-cell surface. Since CD8 interacts only with class I MHC, and CD4 only with class II MHC, and furthermore mature T cells express only CD4 or only CD8, this results in the creation of two classes of T cells recognizing different processed sets of antigen. Class-I-specific CD8 T cells are the major component of cellular cytotoxicity, while CD4 cells are the key cells regulating the immune response.

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