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Interleukin-6/STAT3 signaling regulates the ability of naive T cells to acquire B-cell help capacities

By Fouad Eddahri, Sébastien Denanglaire, Fabrice Bureau, Rosanne Spolski, Warren J. Leonard, Oberdan Leo and Fabienne Andris


The conditions leading to the activation/differentiation of T-helper (Th) cells dedicated for B-cell antibody production are still poorly characterized. We now demonstrate that interleukin-6 (IL-6) promotes the differentiation of naive T lymphocytes into helper cells able to promote B-cell activation and antibody secretion. IL-6–driven acquisition of B-cell help capacity requires expression of the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), but not STAT4 or STAT6 transcription factors, suggesting that the ability to provide help to B cells is not restricted to a well-defined Th1 or Th2 effector population. T cell–specific STAT3-deficient mice displayed reduced humoral responses in vivo that could not be related to an altered expansion of CXCR5-expressing helper T cells. IL-6 was shown to promote IL-21 secretion, a cytokine that was similarly found to promote the differentiation of naive T cells into potent B-cell helper cells. Collectively, these data indicate that the ability to provide B-cell help is regulated by IL-6/IL-21 through STAT3 activation, independently of Th1, Th2, Th17, or follicular helper T cell (TFH) differentiation

Topics: Immunobiology
Publisher: American Society of Hematology
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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