T follicular helper cells mediate expansion of regulatory B cells via IL-21 in Lupus-prone MRL/lpr mice.

PLoS ONE. 2013;8(4):e62855 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0062855

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML

 

AUTHORS


Xue Yang

Ji Yang

Yiwei Chu

Jiucun Wang

Ming Guan

Xiaoxia Zhu

Yu Xue

Hejian Zou

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

T follicular helper (Tfh) cells can mediate humoral immune responses and augment autoimmunity, whereas the role of Tfh cells on regulatory B (B10) cells in autoimmunity diseases is not clear. Here, we investigated the percentages of Tfh cells and B10 cells in lupus-prone MRL/Mp-lpr/lpr (MRL/lpr) mice and examined the effects and mechanism of Tfh cell-derived interleukin-21 (IL-21) on IL-10 production during the differentiation of B10 cells. Both Tfh cells and B10 cells were expanded in spleens of MRL/lpr mice. In addition, a positive correlation between the proportions of Tfh cells and B10 cells was observed. Tfh cell-derived IL-21 from MRL/lpr mice could promote IL-10 production during the differentiation of B10 cells. Importantly, neutralization of IL-21 inhibited IL-10 production and expansion of B10 cells both in vitro and in vivo. IL-21 induced IL-10 production via activation of phosphorylated signal transduction and activator of transcription 3 (p-STAT3). Inhibition of p-STAT3 effectively blocked IL-10 production during the differentiation of B10 cells. Moreover, IL-21-induced IL-10 exerted a regulatory function by inhibiting the proliferation of T cells. These data suggest that Tfh cells not only mediate humoral immune responses and augment autoimmunity but also play a broader role in immune regulatory actions via the induction of IL-10 production.