Follicular helper T cells: lineage and location

Immunity. 2009 Mar 20;30(3):324-35. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2009.03.003.


Follicular helper T (Tfh) cells are the class of effector T helper cells that regulates the step-wise development of antigen-specific B cell immunity in vivo. Deployment of CXCR5+ Tfh cells to B cell zones of lymphoid tissues and stable cognate interactions with B cells are central to the delivery of antigen-specific Tfh cell function. Here, we review recent advances that have helped to unravel distinctive elements of developmental programming for Tfh cells and unique effector Tfh cell functions focused on antigen-primed B cells. Understanding the regulatory functions of Tfh cells in the germinal center and the subsequent regulation of memory B cell responses to antigen recall represent the frontiers of this research area with the potential to alter fundamentally the design of future vaccines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Humans
  • Immunity
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / cytology*
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • Receptors, CXCR5 / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / cytology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology


  • Receptors, CXCR5