Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2022


Interactions between B cells and T helper cells (CD4+) are central to the function of our immune system. Yet, these interactions can turn pathologic and lead to the development of autoimmune diseases. A subset of CD4+ T cells, known as T peripheral helper cells (Tph), has been observed in the circulation and tissue of patients with autoimmune diseases. These cells, unlike the more well understood T follicular helper cells (Tfh), facilitate B cell help at the site of inflammation as opposed to lymphoid organs where Tfh cells are commonly found. The Tph profile shares expression of CXCL13, IL-21, and high levels of PD-1 with Tfh cells but does not express chemokine receptor CXCR5. Therefore, these Tph cells are often defined as PD-1hi CXCR5- CD4+ T cells. Here, we exposed naive and memory CD4+ T cell populations to pro-inflammatory cytokines to induce this Tph cell profile. The combination of cytokines, IFN-β and TGF-β, proved most promising in induction of the Tph population.



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