Long-lived and high-affinity antibodies are derived from germinal center (GC) activity, but the cytokines that regulate GC function are still being identified. Here, we show that thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) signaling regulates the GC and the magnitude of antigen-specific antibody responses. Both GC B cells and T follicular helper (TFH) cells up-regulate the expression of surface TSLP receptor (TSLPR), but cell-specific loss of TSLPR results in distinct effects on GC formation and antibody production. TSLPR signaling on T cells supports the retention of antigen-specific B cells and TFH differentiation, whereas TSLPR in B cells regulates the generation of antigen-specific memory B cells. TSLPR in both cell types promotes interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) expression, which is important for efficient GC activity. Overall, we identified a previously unappreciated cytokine regulator of GCs and identified how this signaling pathway differentially regulates B and T cell responses in the GC.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy