Research Topic

Shaping Destiny: How Genetic, Environmental, Chronological and Stochastic Factors Contribute to B and T Cell Fate

About this Research Topic

Adaptive immunity is mediated by a diverse mixture of B and T cells, which are varied in their functional phenotypes as well as their B or T cell receptor sequences. The phenotypic fate of individual B and T cells is driven by the strength of BCR or TCR binding, respectively, and by an assortment of environmental elements. In response to these cues, epigenetic modifications confer functional differences that alter the identities and capabilities of a given B or T cell. Productive immune responses are best served by a combination of B and T cells that have met different fates (e.g., B1, B2, and MZB B cells; CD4 and CD8 T cells).

The advent of tools including single-cell sequencing, primary ex vivo culture models and new genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) has led to a deeper understanding of factors contributing to the birth and life of individual B and T cells. Through their roles in adaptive immune cell fate, these elements contribute to population-level differences in protective immunity to pathogens, anti-tumor immunity and susceptibility to allergic/autoimmune diseases. In addition to shedding light on an intriguing set of biological mechanisms, a greater understanding of the intertwined constituents of adaptive immune cell fate could help guide vaccine and drug design, as well as precision medicine approaches to autoimmunity and cancer.

In this Research Topic, we seek Original Research, Review, Mini-Review, Hypothesis and Theory and Opinion articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following subjects:

• New tools and approaches for investigating B/T cell fate
• Mechanisms that drive individual B/T cells towards a determined path (e.g., environmental, chronological, genetic, metabolic, stochastic)
• Mechanisms or predictive factors in which shifts in B/T cell fate play a role in disease incidence, severity, or outcome
• Factors that affect persistence versus attrition of different B/T cell lineages
• How mechanisms affecting B/T cell fate relate to vaccine or drug design (including CAR T cells)
• Lessons from B/T cell fate that can inform biomarker discovery or precision medicine


Dr. Lisa Blum is an employee and shareholder of Bolt Biotheraputics, which is involved in cancer immunotherapeutics and myeloid biology. The other Topic Editors declare no other competing interests in relation to the Research Topic theme.


Keywords: b cell fate, t cell fate, lineage commitment, immune repertoire, cell signaling, adaptive immunity


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Adaptive immunity is mediated by a diverse mixture of B and T cells, which are varied in their functional phenotypes as well as their B or T cell receptor sequences. The phenotypic fate of individual B and T cells is driven by the strength of BCR or TCR binding, respectively, and by an assortment of environmental elements. In response to these cues, epigenetic modifications confer functional differences that alter the identities and capabilities of a given B or T cell. Productive immune responses are best served by a combination of B and T cells that have met different fates (e.g., B1, B2, and MZB B cells; CD4 and CD8 T cells).

The advent of tools including single-cell sequencing, primary ex vivo culture models and new genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) has led to a deeper understanding of factors contributing to the birth and life of individual B and T cells. Through their roles in adaptive immune cell fate, these elements contribute to population-level differences in protective immunity to pathogens, anti-tumor immunity and susceptibility to allergic/autoimmune diseases. In addition to shedding light on an intriguing set of biological mechanisms, a greater understanding of the intertwined constituents of adaptive immune cell fate could help guide vaccine and drug design, as well as precision medicine approaches to autoimmunity and cancer.

In this Research Topic, we seek Original Research, Review, Mini-Review, Hypothesis and Theory and Opinion articles that cover, but are not limited to, the following subjects:

• New tools and approaches for investigating B/T cell fate
• Mechanisms that drive individual B/T cells towards a determined path (e.g., environmental, chronological, genetic, metabolic, stochastic)
• Mechanisms or predictive factors in which shifts in B/T cell fate play a role in disease incidence, severity, or outcome
• Factors that affect persistence versus attrition of different B/T cell lineages
• How mechanisms affecting B/T cell fate relate to vaccine or drug design (including CAR T cells)
• Lessons from B/T cell fate that can inform biomarker discovery or precision medicine


Dr. Lisa Blum is an employee and shareholder of Bolt Biotheraputics, which is involved in cancer immunotherapeutics and myeloid biology. The other Topic Editors declare no other competing interests in relation to the Research Topic theme.


Keywords: b cell fate, t cell fate, lineage commitment, immune repertoire, cell signaling, adaptive immunity


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 May 2021 Abstract
30 November 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 May 2021 Abstract
30 November 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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