Jul 9, 2011

Germinal center B and follicular helper T cells: siblings, cousins or just good friends?

Nature Immunology
Stephen L Nutt, David M Tarlinton


Humoral immunity requires interaction between specialized populations of B cells and CD4(+) T cells, called follicular helper T cells (T(FH) cells), in the germinal center (GC) to produce memory B cells and long-lived plasma cells. Molecular crosstalk between GC B cells and T(FH) cells influences the survival, proliferation and differentiation of each cell type. This pairing of GC B cells and T(FH) cells also occurs at the transcriptional level as the Bcl-6–IRF4–Blimp-1 axis, which is crucial for B cell differentiation, is also essential for the T(FH) cell identity. Less is known about the memory B cells that arise from the GC pool, as they seem to be distinctly 'programmed' on the basis of their antigen receptor affinity to enter the long-lived memory pool.

Mentioned in this Paper

Structure of Germinal Center of Lymph Node
Receptors, Antigen
T6 Antigens
Transcription, Genetic
ICOS protein, human
Cross Reactions
Humoral Immunity
Cell Communication
Cell Differentiation Process

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