Opposing signals from the Bcl6 transcription factor and the interleukin-2 receptor generate T helper 1 central and effector memory cells

Immunity. 2011 Oct 28;35(4):583-95. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2011.09.009. Epub 2011 Oct 20.


Listeria monocytogenes infection generates T helper 1 (Th1) effector memory cells and CC chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7)(+) cells resembling central memory cells. We tracked endogenous L. monocytogenes-specific CD4(+) T cells to determine how these memory cells are formed. Two effector cell populations were already present several days after infection. One highly expressed the T-bet transcription factor and produced Th1 memory cells in an interleukin-2 (IL-2) receptor-dependent fashion. The other resided in the T cell areas, expressed CCR7 and CXC chemokine receptor 5 (CXCR5), and like follicular helper cells depended on the Bcl6 transcription factor and inducible costimulator ligand on B cells. The CCR7(+)CXCR5(+) effector cells produced similar memory cells that generated diverse effector cell populations in a secondary response. Thus, Th1 effector memory and follicular helper-like central memory cells are produced from early effector cell populations that diverge in response to signals from the IL-2 receptor, Bcl6, and B cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / immunology*
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Inducible T-Cell Co-Stimulator Protein / immunology
  • Inducible T-Cell Co-Stimulator Protein / metabolism
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit / immunology
  • Mice
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-6
  • Receptors, CXCR5 / immunology
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / immunology*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Th1 Cells / cytology
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th1 Cells / metabolism


  • Bcl6 protein, mouse
  • CXCR5 protein, mouse
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Icos protein, mouse
  • Inducible T-Cell Co-Stimulator Protein
  • Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-6
  • Receptors, CXCR5
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2