Helping B cells and antibody responses is a major function of CD4+ T cells. It has
been 10 years since the publication of Bcl6 as the lineage-defining transcription
factor for T follicular helper (Tfh) differentiation and the requirement of Tfh cells
as the specialized subset of CD4+ T cells needed for germinal centers (the microanatomical
sites of B cell mutation and antibody affinity maturation) and related B cell responses.
A great deal has been learned about Tfh cells in the past 10 years, particularly regarding
their roles in a surprising range of diseases. Advances in the understanding of Tfh
cell differentiation and function are discussed, as are the understanding of Tfh cells
in infectious diseases, vaccines, autoimmune diseases, allergies, atherosclerosis,
organ transplants, and cancer. This includes discussion of Tfh cells in the human
immune system. Based on the discoveries to date, the next decade of Tfh research surely
holds many more surprises. VIDEO ABSTRACT.