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Preferential Generation of Follicular B Helper T Cells from Foxp3+ T Cells in Gut Peyer's Patches

Science  13 Mar 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5920, pp. 1488-1492
DOI: 10.1126/science.1169152

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Abstract

Most of the immunoglobulin A (IgA) in the gut is generated by B cells in the germinal centers of Peyer's patches through a process that requires the presence of CD4+ follicular B helper T(TFH) cells. The nature of these TFH cells in Peyer's patches has been elusive. Here, we demonstrate that suppressive Foxp3+CD4+ T cells can differentiate into TFH cells in mouse Peyer's patches. The conversion of Foxp3+ T cells into TFH cells requires the loss of Foxp3 expression and subsequent interaction with B cells. Thus, environmental cues present in gut Peyer's patches promote the selective differentiation of distinct helper T cell subsets, such as TFH cells.

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