Research ArticleMALARIA

Single-cell RNA-seq and computational analysis using temporal mixture modeling resolves TH1/TFH fate bifurcation in malaria

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Science Immunology  03 Mar 2017:
Vol. 2, Issue 9, eaal2192
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aal2192

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Fork in the road for immune cells

Immune cell differentiation along T helper pathways can profoundly influence the nature of the immune response—from promoting allergy to enhancing inflammation. Lönnberg et al. use single-cell transcriptomics and computational modeling to delineate the molecular cues that guide this decision. During blood-stage Plasmodium infection in mice, the authors track TH1/TFH bifurcation at both the population and single-clone levels and identify genes associated with each path. They demonstrate roles of particular cell types in shaping this decision. This approach provides a broad framework for modeling immune cell differentiation in vivo.