CD4+ T cells that help B cells – a proposal for uniform nomenclature

Stephanie C. Eisenbarth*, Dirk Baumjohann, Joe Craft, Nicolas Fazilleau, Cindy S. Ma, Stuart G. Tangye, Carola G. Vinuesa, Michelle A. Linterman

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    57 Citations (Scopus)


    T follicular helper (Tfh) cells cognately guide differentiation of antigen-primed B cells in secondary lymphoid tissues. ‘Tfh-like’ populations not expressing the canonical Tfh cell transcription factor BCL6 have also been described, which can aid particular aspects of B cell differentiation. Tfh and Tfh-like cells are essential for protective and pathological humoral immunity. These CD4+ T cells that help B cells are polarized to produce diverse combinations of cytokines and chemokine receptors and can be grouped into distinct subsets that promote antibodies of different isotype, affinity, and duration, according to the nature of immune challenge. However, unified nomenclature to describe the distinct functional Tfh and Tfh-like cells does not exist. While explicitly acknowledging cellular plasticity, we propose categorizing these cell states into three groups based on phenotype and function, paired with their anatomical site of action.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)658-669
    Number of pages12
    JournalTrends in Immunology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


    Dive into the research topics of 'CD4+ T cells that help B cells – a proposal for uniform nomenclature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this