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Curr Opin Immunol. 2009 Jun;21(3):266-73. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2009.05.010. Epub 2009 Jun 6.

Follicular helper T cells as cognate regulators of B cell immunity.

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Department of Immunology and Microbial Sciences, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Follicular helper T (T(FH)) cells are a class of helper T cells specialized in the cognate control of antigen-specific B cell immunity. Upon first contact with antigen-primed B cells, pregerminal center effector T(FH) cells promote B cell clonal expansion, antibody isotype switch, plasma cell differentiation, and the induction of germinal centers. By contrast, within germinal centers, T(FH) cells regulate the fate of antigen-specific GC B cells expressing high-affinity variant B cell receptors to promote memory B cell and long-lived plasma cell development. Recent studies unravel multiple signals controlling T(FH) development and functional subtypes of antigen-specific T(FH) cells, including memory T(FH) cells that accelerate memory B cell responses to antigen rechallenge in vivo.

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