Research ArticleHELPER T CELLS

Human “TH9” cells are a subpopulation of PPAR-γ+ TH2 cells

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Science Immunology  18 Jan 2019:
Vol. 4, Issue 31, eaat5943
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aat5943

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Licensing interleukin-9 production

Whereas the biological roles of T helper 1 (TH1), TH2, and TH17 cells are reasonably well established, the functions of interleukin-9 (IL-9)–secreting TH9 cells remains elusive. Several studies have documented the presence of TH9 cells in both humans and mice. Here, by studying human TH cells ex vivo, Micossé et al. propose that TH9 cells are a subpopulation of TH2 cells that transiently up-regulate IL-9 and report the transcription factor peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor–γ (PPAR-γ) to be a key regulator of IL-9 production. The results presented by Micossé et al. call for a closer examination of the ontogeny of IL-9–producing TH cells using cytokine reporter mouse strains.