T follicular helper and T H 2 cells in allergic responses

Allergol Int. 2017 Jul;66(3):377-381. doi: 10.1016/j.alit.2017.04.006. Epub 2017 May 9.


IL-4 is a cytokine commonly secreted by TH2 and follicular helper T (TFH) cells after antigenic sensitization. TH2 cells have been thought to be the major contributor of B cell help as a source of IL-4 responsible for class switch recombination to Immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) and Immunoglobulin E (IgE). Importantly, there are some differences in transcriptional regulation between these two T cell subsets. The IL-4 production by TH2 and TFH cells is distinctively regulated by two pathways, GATA-3-mediated Il4-HS2 enhancer and Notch mediated Il4-CNS-2 enhancer. IgE and IgG1 antibody responses are mainly controlled by IL-4-secreting TFH cells, but not by TH2 cells. In this review, we discuss the role of TH2 and TFH cells in IgE production and allergic responses.

Keywords: Allergen-specific T cell; IL-4; Immunoglobulin E (IgE); Th2; Th2 cytokines.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allergens / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Cell Communication
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology*
  • Hypersensitivity / metabolism
  • Hypersensitivity / pathology
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Immunomodulation
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / metabolism
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism


  • Allergens
  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulin E