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      T Helper 9 Cells: A New Player in Immune-Related Diseases

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          The helper T cell 9 (Thelper-9, Th9), as a functional subgroup of CD4 +T cells, was first discovered in 2008. Th9 cells expressed transcription factor PU.1 and cytokine interleukin-9 (IL-9) characteristically. Recent researches have shown that the differentiation of Th9 cells was coregulated by cytokine transforming growth factor β, IL-4, and various transcription factors. Th9 cells, as a new player, played an important role in various immune-related diseases, including tumors, inflammatory diseases, parasite infection, and other diseases. In this article, we summarize the related research progress and discuss the possible prospect.

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          Most cited references 55

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          Transforming growth factor-beta 'reprograms' the differentiation of T helper 2 cells and promotes an interleukin 9-producing subset.

          Since the discovery of T helper type 1 and type 2 effector T cell subsets 20 years ago, inducible regulatory T cells and interleukin 17 (IL-17)-producing T helper cells have been added to the 'portfolio' of helper T cells. It is unclear how many more effector T cell subsets there may be and to what degree their characteristics are fixed or flexible. Here we show that transforming growth factor-beta, a cytokine at the center of the differentiation of IL-17-producing T helper cells and inducible regulatory T cells, 'reprograms' T helper type 2 cells to lose their characteristic profile and switch to IL-9 secretion or, in combination with IL-4, drives the differentiation of 'T(H)-9' cells directly. Thus, transforming growth factor-beta constitutes a regulatory 'switch' that in combination with other cytokines can 'reprogram' effector T cell differentiation along different pathways.
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            IL-21 and TGF-beta are required for differentiation of human T(H)17 cells.

            The recent discovery of CD4(+) T cells characterized by secretion of interleukin (IL)-17 (T(H)17 cells) and the naturally occurring regulatory FOXP3(+) CD4 T cell (nT(reg)) has had a major impact on our understanding of immune processes not readily explained by the T(H)1/T(H)2 paradigm. T(H)17 and nT(reg) cells have been implicated in the pathogenesis of human autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis. Our recent data and the work of others demonstrated that transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and IL-6 are responsible for the differentiation of naive mouse T cells into T(H)17 cells, and it has been proposed that IL-23 may have a critical role in stabilization of the T(H)17 phenotype. A second pathway has been discovered in which a combination of TGF-beta and IL-21 is capable of inducing differentiation of mouse T(H)17 cells in the absence of IL-6 (refs 6-8). However, TGF-beta and IL-6 are not capable of differentiating human T(H)17 cells and it has been suggested that TGF-beta may in fact suppress the generation of human T(H)17 cells. Instead, it has been recently shown that the cytokines IL-1beta, IL-6 and IL-23 are capable of driving IL-17 secretion in short-term CD4(+) T cell lines isolated from human peripheral blood, although the factors required for differentiation of naive human CD4 to T(H)17 cells are still unknown. Here we confirm that whereas IL-1beta and IL-6 induce IL-17A secretion from human central memory CD4(+) T cells, TGF-beta and IL-21 uniquely promote the differentiation of human naive CD4(+) T cells into T(H)17 cells accompanied by expression of the transcription factor RORC2. These data will allow the investigation of this new population of T(H)17 cells in human inflammatory disease.
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              Control of immunity by the TNFR-related molecule OX40 (CD134).

               Michael Croft (2009)
              TNFR/TNF superfamily members can control diverse aspects of immune function. Research over the past 10 years has shown that one of the most important and prominent interactions in this family is that between OX40 (CD134) and its partner OX40L (CD252). These molecules strongly regulate conventional CD4 and CD8 T cells, and more recent data are highlighting their ability to modulate NKT cell and NK cell function as well as to mediate cross-talk with professional antigen-presenting cells and diverse cell types such as mast cells, smooth muscle cells, and endothelial cells. Additionally, OX40-OX40L interactions alter the differentiation and activity of regulatory T cells. Blocking OX40L has produced strong therapeutic effects in multiple animal models of autoimmune and inflammatory disease, and, in line with a prospective clinical future, reagents that stimulate OX40 signaling are showing promise as adjuvants for vaccination as well as for treatment of cancer.

                Author and article information

                DNA Cell Biol
                DNA Cell Biol
                DNA and Cell Biology
                Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers (140 Huguenot Street, 3rd FloorNew Rochelle, NY 10801USA )
                01 October 2019
                07 October 2019
                07 October 2019
                : 38
                : 10
                : 1040-1047
                [ 1 ]Special Key Laboratory of Gene Detection and Therapy of Guizhou Province, Zunyi, Guizhou, China.
                [ 2 ]Department of Immunology, Zunyi Medical University, Zunyi, Guizhou, China.
                [ 3 ]Department of Medical Physics, Zunyi Medical University, Zunyi, Guizhou, China.
                [ 4 ]Key Laboratory of Adult Stem Cell Transformation Research, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Zunyi, Guizhou, China.
                [ 5 ]Department of Pediatrics, Affiliated Hospital of Zunyi Medical University, Zunyi, Guizhou, China.
                Author notes
                Address correspondence to: Lin Xu, PhD, Department of Immunology, Zunyi Medical University, Zunyi 563003, Guizhou, China xulinzhouya@
                © Jing Chen et al., 2019; Published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

                This Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 3, References: 75, Pages: 8

                tumor, th9 cell, il-9, inflammation


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