Follicular regulatory T cells expressing Foxp3 and Bcl-6 suppress germinal center reactions

Yeonseok Chung, Shinya Tanaka, Fuliang Chu, Roza I. Nurieva, Gustavo J. Martinez, Seema Rawal, Yi Hong Wang, Hoyong Lim, Joseph M. Reynolds, Xiao Hui Zhou, Hui Min Fan, Zhong Ming Liu, Sattva S. Neelapu, Chen Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

824 Citations (Scopus)


Foxp3+ regulatory T (Treg) cells suppress different types of immune responses to help maintain homeostasis in the body. How T reg cells regulate humoral immunity, including germinal center reactions, is unclear. Here we identify a subset of T reg cells expressing CXCR5 and Bcl-6 that localize to the germinal centers in mice and humans. The expression of CXCR5 on T reg cells depends on Bcl-6. These CXCR5 + Bcl-6 + T reg cells are absent in the thymus but can be generated de novo from CXCR5-Foxp3+ natural T reg precursors. A lack of CXCR5 + T reg cells leads to greater germinal center reactions including germinal center B cells, affinity maturation of antibodies and the differentiation of plasma cells. These results unveil a Bcl-6-CXCR5 axis in T reg cells that drives the development of follicular regulatory T (TFR) cells that function to inhibit the germinal center reactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-988
Number of pages6
JournalNature medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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