Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Immunology. 2010 Feb;129(2):147-53. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2567.2009.03189.x. Epub 2009 Nov 17.

Plasticity of T-cell phenotype and function: the T helper type 17 example.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Program in Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Abstract

Mature T helper type 1 (Th1) and Th2 cells antagonize the development of the opposing subset to sustain lineage-specific responses. However, the recent identification of a third distinct subset of helper T cells - the Th17 lineage - collapses the established Th1/Th2 dichotomy and raises intriguing questions about T-cell fate. In this review, we discuss the Th17 subset in the context of the effector and regulatory T-cell lineages. Initial studies suggested reciprocal developmental pathways between Th17/Th1 subsets and between Th17/regulatory T-cell subsets, and identified multiple mechanisms by which Th1 and Th2 cells antagonize the generation of Th17 cells. However, recent observations reveal the susceptibility of differentiated Th17 cells to Th1 polarization and the enhancement of Th17 memory cells by the Th1 factors interferon-gamma and T-bet. In addition, new data indicate late-stage plasticity of a subpopulation of regulatory T cells, which can be selectively induced to adopt a Th17 phenotype. Elucidating the mechanisms that undermine cross-lineage suppression and facilitate these phenotype shifts will not only clarify the flexibility of T-cell differentiation, but may also shed insight into the pathogenesis of autoimmunity and cancer. Furthermore, understanding these phenomena will be critical for the design of immunotherapy that seeks to disrupt lineage-specific T-cell responses and may suggest ways to manipulate the balance between pathogenic and regulatory lymphocytes for the restoration of homeostasis.

PMID:
19922424
PMCID:
PMC2814457
DOI:
10.1111/j.1365-2567.2009.03189.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center