Apart from T helper (Th)-2 cells, T follicular helper (Tfh) cells are a major class of IL-4-producing T cells, required for regulation of type 2 humoral immunity; however, transcriptional control of IL-4 production in Tfh cells remains mainly unknown. Here, we show that the basic leucine zipper transcription factor ATF-like, Batf is important for IL-4 expression in Tfh cells rather than in canonical Th2 cells. Functionally, Batf in cooperation with interferon regulatory factor (IRF) 4 along with Stat3 and Stat6 trigger IL-4 production in Tfh cells by directly binding to and activation of the CNS2 region in the IL-4 locus. In addition, Batf-to-c-Maf signalling is an important determinant of IL-4 expression in Tfh cells. Batf deficiency impairs the generation of IL-4-producing Tfh cells that results in protection against allergic asthma. Our results thus indicate a positive role of Batf in promoting the generation of pro-allergic IL-4-producing Tfh cells.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)