Interleukin-10 from CD4+ follicular regulatory T cells promotes the germinal center response

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Science Immunology  20 Oct 2017:
Vol. 2, Issue 16, eaan4767
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aan4767

Probing the functions of follicular regulatory T cells

CD4+ follicular regulatory T (Tfr) cells express key molecules that are associated with regulatory T cell and follicular helper T cell functions. Although it is known that Tfr cells produce interleukin-10 (IL-10), it has been unclear whether IL-10 production by these cells regulates germinal center (GC) responses in vivo. By specifically ablating IL-10 expression in murine Tfr cells, Laidlaw et al. demonstrate that Tfr cell–derived IL-10 does support GC responses in the context of acute viral infection. They found dendritic cells and B cells in the GCs to be IL-10–responsive and showed that IL-10 promoted GC B cells to adopt a dark zone phenotype.