T cells belong to a group of white blood cells known as lymphocytes, and play a central role in cell-mediated immunity. They can be distinguished from other lymphocyte types, such as B cells and natural killer cells by the presence of a special receptor on their cell surface called T cell receptors (TCR). The abbreviation T, in T cell, stands for thymus, since this is the principal organ responsible for the T cell's maturation. Several different subsets of T cells have been discovered, each with a distinct function.
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