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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.02709

T-Follicular Regulatory Cells: Potential Therapeutic Targets in Rheumatoid Arthritis

 Tingting Ding1, Hongqing Niu1, Xiangchong Zhao1,  Chong Gao2, Xiaofeng Li1 and  Caihong Wang1*
  • 1Second Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, China
  • 2Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, United States

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an incurable aggressive chronic inflammatory joint disease with a worldwide prevalence. High levels of autoantibodies and chronic inflammation may be involved in the pathology. Notably, T-follicular regulatory (Tfr) cells are critical mediators of T-follicular helper (Tfh) cells generation and antibody production in the germinal center (GC) reaction. Changes in the number and function of Tfr cells may lead to dysregulation of the GC reaction and the production of aberrant autoantibodies. Regulation of the function and number of Tfr cells could be an effective strategy for precisely controlling antibody production, reestablishing immune homeostasis, and thereby improving the outcome of RA. This review summarizes advances in our understanding of the biology and functions of Tfr cells. The involvement of Tfr cells and other crucial cell subsets in RA is also discussed. Further, we highlight the potential therapeutic targets related to Tfr cells and restoring the Tfr/Tfh balance via cytokines, microRNAs, the mTOR signaling pathway, and the gut microbiota, which will facilitate further research on RA and other immune-mediated diseases.

Keywords: T follicular regulatory cell, Rheumatoid arthritis, therapeutic targets, T follicular helper cell, Germinal centres, Immune Regulation

Received: 28 Apr 2019; Accepted: 04 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Ding, Niu, Zhao, Gao, Li and Wang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Caihong Wang, Second Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, China, snwch@sina.com