Research ArticleT CELLS

Long-lived T follicular helper cells retain plasticity and help sustain humoral immunity

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Science Immunology  06 Mar 2020:
Vol. 5, Issue 45, eaay5552
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aay5552

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Memory Tfh cells

Expression of a purinergic receptor P2X7R renders certain T cell subsets, including resident memory T (Trm) cells susceptible to NAD-induced cell death (NICD). Injection of an NICD protector before harvesting them improves cell recovery. Here, based on the observation that T follicular helper (Tfh) cells also express P2X7R, Künzli et al. used NICD protector to study the persistence of Tfh cells after LCMV infection in mice. They report that Tfh cells persisted for 400+ days after infection and that long-lived Tfh cells are glycolytic and are marked by high expression of folate receptor 4 (FR4). Upon reinfection, these FR4+ “memory” Tfh cells were capable of self-renewal and could also give rise to effector and central memory cells.

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