Cytokine-secreting follicular T cells shape the antibody repertoire.


Journal Article

High-affinity antibodies are critical for host protection and underlie successful vaccines. The generation of such antibodies requires T cell-dependent help, which mediates germinal center reactions in which mutation and selection of B cells occurs. Using an interleukin 4-reporter system, we show here that CD4(+) follicular helper T cells constituted essentially all of the cytokine-secreting T cells in lymph nodes and were functionally distinct from T cells secreting the same cytokine in peripheral tissues. Follicular helper T cells with different cytokine profiles could be isolated as conjugates with B cells undergoing cytokine-specific immunoglobulin class switching with evidence of somatic hypermutation. Our findings support a model in which B cells compete for cytokines produced by follicular helper T cells that shape the affinity and isotype of the antibody response.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Reinhardt, RL; Liang, H-E; Locksley, RM

Published Date

  • April 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 10 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 385 - 393

PubMed ID

  • 19252490

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19252490

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1529-2916

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/ni.1715


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States