Crosstalk Between Circulating Follicular T Helper Cells and Regulatory B Cells in Children With Extrinsic Atopic Dermatitis

Front Immunol. 2021 Nov 30;12:785549. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.785549. eCollection 2021.


Atopic dermatitis (AD) in early childhood is often the initial manifestation of allergic disease associated with high IgE. Accumulating evidences show that follicular helper T (Tfh) cells play a critical role in promoting B cell differentiation and IgE production, human regulatory B (Breg) cells participate in immunomodulatory processes and inhibition of allergic inflammation. However, the roles and interactions between IL-10-producing Breg cells and Tfh cells in childhood AD are unclear. In this study, we found that the percentage of CD19+IL-10+ Breg cells in children with extrinsic AD was significantly lower than that in age-matched healthy controls, and that it correlated negatively with enhanced CD4+CXCR5+PD-1+ICOS+ circulating Tfh cell responses and increased disease activity; however, there was no significant correlation with serum total IgE levels. A co-culture system revealed that Breg cells from patients with extrinsic AD cannot effectively inhibit differentiation of Tfh cells in an IL-10 dependent manner. Abnormal pSTAT3 signaling induced via Toll-like receptors (TLR), but not the B-cell receptor (BCR) signaling, might contribute to the defect of Breg cells in AD. Taken together, these observations demonstrate an important role for IL-10-producing Breg cells in inhibiting Tfh cell differentiation, and suggest that they may participate in the pathogenesis of AD.

Keywords: IL-10; T follicular helper cells; atopic dermatitis; immunoglobulin E; regulatory B cells.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • B-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Communication / immunology
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Cell Separation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / blood
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / immunology*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism
  • Male
  • Primary Cell Culture
  • T Follicular Helper Cells / immunology*
  • T Follicular Helper Cells / metabolism


  • IL10 protein, human
  • Interleukin-10