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Regulation of Germinal Center Reactions by B and T Cells

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Author(s): Young Uk Kim | Xindong Liu | Shinya Tanaka | Dat Quoc Tran | Yeonseok Chung

Journal: Antibodies
ISSN 2073-4468

Volume: 2;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 554;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: TFH | TFR | BREG | Qa-1 restricted CD8+TREG | Germinal center | B cells | antibody

ABSTRACT
Break of B cell tolerance to self-antigens results in the development of autoantibodies and, thus, leads to autoimmunity. How B cell tolerance is maintained during active germinal center (GC) reactions is yet to be fully understood. Recent advances revealed several subsets of T cells and B cells that can positively or negatively regulate GC B cell responses in vivo. IL-21-producing CXCR5+ CD4+ T cells comprise a distinct lineage of helper T cells—termed follicular helper T cells (TFH)—that can provide help for the development of GC reactions where somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation take place. Although the function of TFH cells is beneficial in generating high affinity antibodies against infectious agents, aberrant activation of TFH cell or B cell to self-antigens results in autoimmunity. At least three subsets of immune cells have been proposed as regulatory cells that can limit such antibody-mediated autoimmunity, including follicular regulatory T cells (TFR), Qa-1 restricted CD8+ regulatory T cells (CD8+TREG), and regulatory B cells (BREG). In this review, we will discuss our current understanding of GC B cell regulation with specific emphasis on the newly identified immune cell subsets involved in this process.

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