CXCR5+ follicular cytotoxic T cells control viral infection in B cell follicles

Yew Ann Leong, Yaping Chen, Hong Sheng Ong, Di Wu, Kevin Man, Claire Deleage, Martina Minnich, Benjamin Meckiff, Yunbo Wei, Zhaohua Hou, Dimitra Zotos, Kevin A Fenix, Anurag Atnerkar, Simon Preston, Jeffrey G Chipman, Greg J Beilman, Cody C Allison, Lei Sun, Peng Wang, Jiawei XuJesse G Toe, Hao K Lu, Yong Tao, Umaimainthan Palendira, Alexander L Dent, Alan L Landay, Marc Pellegrini, Iain Comerford, Shaun R McColl, Timothy W Schacker, Heather Long, Jacob D Estes, Meinrad Busslinger, Gabrielle T Belz, Sharon R Lewin, Axel Kallies, Di Yu

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Abstract

During unresolved infections, some viruses escape immunological control and establish a persistant reservoir in certain cell types, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which persists in follicular helper T cells (TFH cells), and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which persists in B cells. Here we identified a specialized group of cytotoxic T cells (TC cells) that expressed the chemokine receptor CXCR5, selectively entered B cell follicles and eradicated infected TFH cells and B cells. The differentiation of these cells, which we have called 'follicular cytotoxic T cells' (TFC cells), required the transcription factors Bcl6, E2A and TCF-1 but was inhibited by the transcriptional regulators Blimp1, Id2 and Id3. Blimp1 and E2A directly regulated Cxcr5 expression and, together with Bcl6 and TCF-1, formed a transcriptional circuit that guided TFC cell development. The identification of TFC cells has far-reaching implications for the development of strategies to control infections that target B cells and TFH cells and to treat B cell-derived malignancies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1187-1196
Number of pages10
JournalNature Immunology
Volume17
Issue number10
Early online date3 Aug 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016

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