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Recent Publication

Cutting Edge: Tcf1 Instructs T Follicular Helper Cell Differentiation by Repressing Blimp1 in Response to Acute Viral Infection


Differentiation of T follicular helper (TFH) cells is regulated by a complex transcriptional network, with mutually antagonistic Bcl6–Blimp1 as a core regulatory axis. It is well established that Tcf1 acts upstream of Bcl6 for its optimal induction to program TFH cell differentiation. In this study, we show that whereas genetic ablation of Tcf1 in mice greatly diminished TFH cells in response to viral infection, compound deletion of Blimp1 with Tcf1 restored TFH cell frequency, numbers, and generation of germinal center B cells. Aberrant upregulation of T-bet and Id2 in Tcf1-deficient TFH cells was also largely rectified by ablating Blimp1. Tcf1 chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing in TFH cells identified two strong Tcf1 binding sites in the Blimp1 gene at a 24-kb upstream and an intron-3 element. Deletion of the intron-3 element, but not the 24-kb upstream element, compromised production of TFH cells. Our data demonstrate that Tcf1-mediated Blimp1 repression is functionally critical for safeguarding TFHcell differentiation.

  • Shao P, Li F, Wang J, Chen X, Liu C and Xue HH