CD4+follicular regulatory T cells optimize the influenza virus-specific B cell response

Yisi Lu, Roy Jiang, Alec W. Freyn, Jiawei Wang, Shirin Strohmeier, Katlyn Lederer, Michela Locci, Hongyu Zhao, Davide Angeletti, Kevin C. O'Connor, Steven H. Kleinstein, Raffael Nachbagauer, Joe Craft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


CD4+ follicular regulatory T (Tfr) cells control B cell responses through the modulation of follicular helper T (Tfh) cells and germinal center development while suppressing autoreactivity; however, their role in the regulation of productive germinal center B cell responses and humoral memory is incompletely defined. We show that Tfr cells promote antigen-specific germinal center B cell responses upon influenza virus infection. Following viral challenge, we found that Tfr cells are necessary for robust generation of virus-specific, long-lived plasma cells, antibody production against both hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA), the two major influenza virus glycoproteins, and appropriate regulation of the BCR repertoire. To further investigate the functional relevance of Tfr cells during viral challenge, we used a sequential immunization model with repeated exposure of antigenically partially conserved strains of influenza viruses, revealing that Tfr cells promote recall antibody responses against the conserved HA stalk region. Thus, Tfr cells promote antigen-specific B cell responses and are essential for the development of long-term humoral memory.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere20200547
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


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