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Molecular regulation and dysregulation of T follicular helper cells - learning from inborn errors of immunity


The production of high-affinity antibodies is a key feature of the vertebrate immune system. Antibodies neutralize and clear pathogens, thereby protecting against infectious diseases. However, dysregulated production of antibodies can cause immune pathologies, such as autoimmunity and immune deficiency. Long-lived humoral immunity depends on B-cell help provided by T follicular helper (Tfh) cells, which support the differentiation of antigen (Ag)-specific B cells into memory and plasma cells. Tfh cells are generated from naive CD4(+) T cells following the receipt of inputs from various cell surface receptors, and can undergo further differentiation into subsets with specialised effector functions to induce and maintain serological memory. While genetically modified mice have provided great understanding of the requirements for generating Tfh cells, it is critical that requirements for human Tfh cell generation and function are also established. Key insights into the molecular requirements for human Tfh cells have been elucidated from the systematic analysis of humans with monogenic germline variants that cause inborn errors of immunity characterised by impaired humoral immunity following infection or vaccination or immune dysregulation and autoimmunity. In this review we will discuss how studying rare 'experiments of nature' has enabled discovery of non-redundant molecules and pathways necessary for Tfh cell generation, differentiation, regulation and function in humans, and how these findings inform us about basic and clinical immunology.

Type Journal
ISBN 1879-0372 (Electronic) 0952-7915 (Linking)
Authors Tangye, S. G.; Ma, C. S.
Published Date 2021-10-31
Published Volume 72
Published Pages 249-261
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1016/j.coi.2021.06.011
URL link to publisher's version