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      Follicular T Helper Cell Signatures in Primary Biliary Cholangitis and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

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          Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) are the most common cholestatic liver diseases. While PBC is generally accepted to be an autoimmune disorder characterized by pathognomonic autoantibodies against mitochondrial antigens, the pathogenesis of PSC is less precisely defined; however, some degree of altered immunity toward autoantigens has been suggested. Follicular T helper (Tfh) cells, a distinct clusters of differentiation (CD)4 T‐cell subset specialized in facilitating antibody responses, have been shown to contribute to humoral autoimmunity in various disorders; yet, there is only limited information on possible alterations of Tfh cells in the context of cholestatic liver diseases. Thus, we addressed this important question by analyzing the frequency, activation status, and function of Tfh cells and frequencies of regulatory follicular T helper (Tfr) cells in well‐defined cohorts of patients with PBC and patients with PSC. Interestingly, we observed a significant increase in circulating chemokine (C‐X‐C motif) receptor 5 (CXCR5)+programmed death 1 (PD‐1) +CD4+ Tfh cells in patients with PBC but not in those with PSC. Although the frequency of potentially pathogenic chemokine (C‐C motif) receptor 7 (CCR7)lowCXCR5+PD‐1+CD4+ Tfh cells was increased in both disorders compared to healthy donors, the increase was significantly more pronounced in PBC. Furthermore, in patients with PBC, Tfh cells displayed stronger expression of the activation markers OX40 and inducible costimulator of T cells, correlated with anti‐anti‐mitochondrial antibody M2 and immunoglobulin M titers, and were most significantly increased in patients with cirrhosis. Tfr cell numbers were similarly increased; however, Tfh/Tfr ratios were unaltered in PSC and PBC. These alterations did not correlate with increased secretion of the Tfh signature cytokine interleukin‐21 in sorted CD4 T cells. Conclusion: Significant alterations occur in the Tfh cell compartment in cholestatic liver diseases, suggesting that Tfh cells influence the pathogenesis of PBC and to a lesser extend PSC.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Standardizing immunophenotyping for the Human Immunology Project.

          The heterogeneity in the healthy human immune system, and the immunological changes that portend various diseases, have been only partially described. Their comprehensive elucidation has been termed the 'Human Immunology Project'. The accurate measurement of variations in the human immune system requires precise and standardized assays to distinguish true biological changes from technical artefacts. Thus, to be successful, the Human Immunology Project will require standardized assays for immunophenotyping humans in health and disease. A major tool in this effort is flow cytometry, which remains highly variable with regard to sample handling, reagents, instrument setup and data analysis. In this Review, we outline the current state of standardization of flow cytometry assays and summarize the steps that are required to enable the Human Immunology Project.
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            Primary biliary cirrhosis.

            Primary biliary cirrhosis is a chronic cholestatic liver disease characterised by destruction of small intrahepatic bile ducts, leading to fibrosis and potential cirrhosis through resulting complications. The serological hallmark of primary biliary cirrhosis is the antimitochondrial antibody, a highly disease-specific antibody identified in about 95% of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis. These patients usually have fatigue and pruritus, both of which occur independently of disease severity. The typical course of primary biliary cirrhosis has changed substantially with the introduöction of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). Several randomised placebo-controlled studies have shown that UDCA improves transplant-free survival in primary biliary cirrhosis. However, about 40% of patients do not have a biochemical response to UDCA and would benefit from new therapies. Liver transplantation is a life-saving surgery with excellent outcomes for those with decompensated cirrhosis. Meanwhile, research on nuclear receptor hormones has led to the development of exciting new potential treatments. This Seminar will review the current understanding of the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and natural history of primary biliary cirrhosis, discuss management of the disease and its sequelae, and introduce research on new therapeutic options.
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              Human T cells that are able to produce IL-17 express the chemokine receptor CCR6.

              Some pathways of T cell differentiation are associated with characteristic patterns of chemokine receptor expression. A new lineage of effector/memory CD4+ T cells has been identified whose signature products are IL-17 cytokines and whose differentiation requires the nuclear receptor, RORgammat. These Th17 cells are critical effectors in mouse models of autoimmune disease. We have analyzed the association between chemokine receptor expression and IL-17 production for human T cells. Activating cord blood (naive) CD4+ T cells under conditions driving Th17 differentiation led to preferential induction of CCR6, CCR9, and CXCR6. Despite these data, we found no strong correlation between the production of IL-17 and expression of CCR9 or CXCR6. By contrast, our analyses revealed that virtually all IL-17-producing CD4+ T cells, either made in our in vitro cultures or found in peripheral blood, expressed CCR6, a receptor found on approximately 50% of CD4+ memory PBL. Compared with CD4+CD45RO+CCR6- cells, CD4+CD45RO+CCR6+ cells contained at least 100-fold more IL-17A mRNA and secreted 100-fold more IL-17 protein. The CCR6+ cells showed a similar enrichment in mRNA for RORgammat. CCR6 was likewise expressed on all IL-17-producing CD8+ PBL. CCR6 has been associated with the trafficking of T, B, and dendritic cells to epithelial sites, but has not been linked to a specific T cell phenotype. Our data reveal a fundamental feature of IL-17-producing human T cells and a novel role for CCR6, suggesting both new directions for investigating IL-17-related immune responses and possible targets for preventing inflammatory injury.

                Author and article information

                Hepatol Commun
                Hepatol Commun
                Hepatology Communications
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                07 September 2018
                September 2018
                : 2
                : 9 ( doiID: 10.1002/hep4.v2.9 )
                : 1051-1063
                [ 1 ] Department of Medicine II, University Medical Cewnter, Faculty of Medicine University of Freiburg Freiburg Germany
                [ 2 ] Berta‐Ottenstein Program, Faculty of Medicine University of Freiburg Freiburg Germany
                Author notes
                [* ] Address Correspondence and Reprint Requests to:

                Tobias Böettler, M.D.

                Department of Medicine II, University Medical Center

                Hugstetter Str. 55

                D‐79106 Freiburg, Germany

                E‐mail: tobias.boettler@

                Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Hepatology Communications published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc., on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

                Page count
                Figures: 7, Tables: 1, Pages: 13, Words: 13221
                Funded by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
                Award ID: BO 3361/4-1 to T.B.
                Award ID: CRC1160-IMPATH P10 to C.N.H.
                Award ID: CRC1160-IMPATH P8 to R.T.
                Award ID: TH-719/3-1 to R.T
                Funded by: Deutsche Leberstiftung
                Award ID: Vernetzungs-Stipendium to T.B.
                Original Article
                Original Articles
                Custom metadata
                September 2018
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_NLMPMC version:version= mode:remove_FC converted:07.09.2018


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