In vivo regulation of Bcl6 and T follicular helper cell development

Amanda C. Poholek, Kyle Hansen, Sairy G. Hernandez, Danelle Eto, Anmol Chandele, Jason S. Weinstein, Xuemei Dong, Jared M. Odegard, Susan M. Kaech, Alexander L. Dent, Shane Crotty, Joe Craft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

180 Scopus citations


Follicular helper T (TFH) cells, defined by expression of the surface markers CXCR5 and programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) and synthesis of IL-21, require upregulation of the transcriptional repressor Bcl6 for their development and function in B cell maturation in germinal centers. We have explored the role of B cells and the cytokines IL-6 and IL-21 in the in vivo regulation of Bcl6 expression and TFH cell development. We found that TFH cells are characterized by a Bcl6-dependent downregulation of P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1 (PSGL1, a CCL19- and CCL21-binding protein), indicating that, like CXCR5 and PD-1 upregulation, modulation of PSGL1 expression is part of the TFH cell program of differentiation. B cells were neither required for initial upregulation of Bcl6 nor PSGL1 downregulation, suggesting these events preceded T-B cell interactions, although they were required for full development of the TFH cell phenotype, including CXCR5 and PD-1 upregulation, and IL-21 synthesis. Bcl6 upregulation and TFH cell differentiation were independent of IL-6 and IL-21, revealing that either cytokine is not absolutely required for development of Bcl6+ TFH cells in vivo. These data increase our understanding of Bcl6 regulation in TFH cells and their differentiation in vivo and identifies a new surface marker that may be functionally relevant in this subset.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-326
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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  • Cite this

    Poholek, A. C., Hansen, K., Hernandez, S. G., Eto, D., Chandele, A., Weinstein, J. S., Dong, X., Odegard, J. M., Kaech, S. M., Dent, A. L., Crotty, S., & Craft, J. (2010). In vivo regulation of Bcl6 and T follicular helper cell development. Journal of Immunology, 185(1), 313-326.