Single-cell analysis pinpoints distinct populations of cytotoxic CD4+ T cells and an IL-10+CD109+ TH2 cell population in nasal polyps

Sci Immunol. 2021 Aug 13;6(62):eabg6356. doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.abg6356.


Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) is characterized by a chronic inflammatory process often associated with comorbid asthma. In this study, we analyzed the transcriptomes of single T helper (TH) cells from nasal polyps of patients with CRSwNP and validated these findings using multiparameter flow cytometry. Polyp tissue contained suppressive T regulatory (Treg) cells, TH2 cells, type 2 innate lymphoid cells, and three transcriptionally distinct subsets of cytotoxic CD4+ T cells (CD4+ CTL). GATA3 expression was a feature of polyp Treg cells, whereas TH2 cells highly expressed TCN1, CD200R, and HPGDS and were enriched for genes involved in lipid metabolism. Only a portion of polyp TH2 cells expressed the prostaglandin D2 receptor CRTH2, whereas a subpopulation of CD109+CRTH2- TH2 cells expressed mRNA for common inhibitor receptors including LAG3 and TIM3 and produced IL-10. Together, we resolved the complexity of TH cells in patients with CRSwNP, identifying several distinct clusters of CD4+ CTL and a population of CD109+CRTH2- TH2 cells with putative regulatory potential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • GPI-Linked Proteins / immunology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-10 / immunology*
  • Nasal Polyps / immunology*
  • Nasal Polyps / pathology
  • Neoplasm Proteins / immunology*
  • Single-Cell Analysis*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / pathology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / pathology


  • Antigens, CD
  • CD109 protein, human
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • IL10 protein, human
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Interleukin-10