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    Upon recognition of peptide displayed on MHC molecules, Th1 and Th2 cells form distinct immunological synapse structures. Th1 cells have a bull's eye synapse structure with TCR/ MHC-peptide interactions occurring central to a ring of adhesion molecules, while Th2 cells have a multifocal synapse with small clusters of TCR/MHC interactions throughout the area of T cell/antigen-presenting cell interaction. In this study, we investigated whether this structural difference in the immunological synapse affects delivery of T cell help. The immunological synapse is thought to ensure antigen-specific delivery of cytolytic granules and killing of target cells by NK cells and cytolytic T cells. In helper T cells, it has been proposed that the immunological synapse may direct delivery of other effector molecules including cytokines. CD40 ligand (CD40L) is a membrane-bound cytokine essential for antigen-specific T cell help for B cells in the antibody response. We incubated Th1 and Th2 cells overnight with a mixture of antigen-presenting and bystander B cells, and the delivery of CD40L to B cells and subsequent B cell responses were compared. Despite distinct immunological synapse structures, Th1 and Th2 cell do not differ in their ability to deliver CD40L and T cell help in an antigen-specific fashion, or in their susceptibility to inhibition of help by a blocking anti-CD40L antibody.


    Jennifer L Gardell, David C Parker. Despite disorganized synapse structure, Th2 cells maintain directional delivery of CD40L to antigen-presenting B cells. PloS one. 2017;12(10):e0186573

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    PMID: 29023539

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