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Nat Rev Immunol. 2018 Feb;18(2):121-133. doi: 10.1038/nri.2017.118. Epub 2017 Oct 30.

TH2 cell development and function.

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Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Francis Crick Avenue, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge CB2 0QH, UK.


T helper 2 (TH2) cells orchestrate protective type 2 immune responses, such as those that target helminths and facilitate tissue repair, but also contribute to chronic inflammatory diseases, such as asthma and allergy. Here, we review recent insights into how diverse molecular signals from cellular sources, including dendritic cells, innate lymphoid cells and the epithelium, are integrated by T cells to guide the transcriptional and epigenetic changes necessary for TH2 cell differentiation. Our improved understanding of these pathways has opened new avenues for therapeutically targeting TH2 cells in asthma and allergy. The advent of comprehensive single-cell transcriptomics along with improvements in single-cell proteomics and the generation of novel in vivo cell fate mapping techniques promise to expand our understanding of T cell diversity and offer new insight into disease-related heterogeneity and plasticity of TH cell responses.

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