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Nat Immunol. 2015 Feb;16(2):142-52. doi: 10.1038/ni.3054.

Pathophysiology of T follicular helper cells in humans and mice.

Author information

Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, Dallas, Texas, USA.
Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, Farmington, Connecticut, USA, and Vaccine Research Institute, INSERM U955, Hopital Henri Mondor, Creteil, France.
Department of Pathogens and Immunity, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.


Follicular helper T cells (TFH cells) compose a heterogeneous subset of CD4(+) T cells that induce the differentiation of B cells into plasma cells and memory cells. They are found within and in proximity to germinal centers in secondary lymphoid organs, and their memory compartment also circulates in the blood. Our knowledge on the biology of TFH cells has increased significantly during the past decade, largely as a result of mouse studies. However, recent studies on human TFH cells isolated from lymphoid organ and blood samples and recent observations on the developmental mechanism of human TFH cells have revealed both similarities and differences between human and mouse TFH cells. Here we present the similarities and differences between mouse and human lymphoid organ-resident TFH cells and discuss the role of TFH cells in response to vaccines and in disease pathogenesis.

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