Follicular helper T cells as cognate regulators of B cell immunity

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


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Germinal Center / cytology
  • Germinal Center / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / immunology*
  • Immunologic Memory / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Models, Immunological
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*