Type I interferon signaling in dendritic cells stimulates the development of lymph-node-resident T follicular helper cells.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


T follicular helper (Tfh) cells represent a recently defined CD4(+) T cell subset characterized by the expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR5 and an enhanced ability to support B cells to mount antibody responses. Here, we demonstrate that lymph-node-resident CXCR5(+) Tfh cells and gut-homing integrin alpha(4)beta(7)-expressing T helper cells are generated as separate subsets in the gut-draining mesenteric lymph nodes. Type I interferon signaling in dendritic cells and in nonhematopoietic cells selectively stimulates Tfh cell development in response to antigen in conjunction with Toll-like receptor (TLR)3 or TLR4 agonists. Consistent with this, the ability of dendritic cells to produce the cytokine IL-6, required for in vivo Tfh differentiation, and antibody affinity maturation are both reduced in absence of type I interferon signaling. Thus, our results identify type I interferon as a natural adjuvant that selectively supports the generation of lymph node resident Tfh cells.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Immunology in the medical area


  • Helper-Inducer: metabolism, T-Lymphocytes, Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta: immunology, Receptors, CXCR5: metabolism, Helper-Inducer: cytology, Helper-Inducer: immunology, Interferon alpha-beta: genetics, Interferon alpha-beta: deficiency, Lymph Nodes: metabolism, Lymph Nodes: immunology, Lymph Nodes: cytology, Interleukin-6: biosynthesis, Interferon Type I: immunology, Integrins: metabolism, CD11c: immunology, Antigens, Dendritic Cells: immunology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-501
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch