GLOSSARY: Cytotoxicity

Cytotoxicity is defined as the quality of being toxic to cells. Cytotoxicity assays are widely used by the pharmaceutical industry to screen for cytotoxicity in compound libraries. Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) describes the cell-killing ability of certain lymphocytes, which requires the target cell being marked by an antibody. Lymphocyte-mediated cytotoxicity, on the other hand, does not have to be mediated by antibodies; nor does complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC), which is mediated by the complement system.