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IL-23 promotes autoimmune disease, including Th17 CD4 T cell development and autoantibody production. In this study, we show that a deficiency of the p19 component of IL-23 in the autoimmune BXD2 (BXD2-p19-/- ) mouse leads to a shift of the follicular T helper cell program from follicular T helper (Tfh)-IL-17 to Tfh-IFN-γ. Although the germinal center (GC) size and the number of GC B cells remained the same, BXD2-p19-/- mice exhibited a lower class-switch recombination (CSR) in the GC B cells, leading to lower serum levels of IgG2b. Single-cell transcriptomics analysis of GC B cells revealed that whereas Ifngr1, Il21r, and Il4r genes exhibited a synchronized expression pattern with Cxcr5 and plasma cell program genes, Il17ra exhibited a synchronized expression pattern with Cxcr4 and GC program genes. Downregulation of Ighg2b in BXD2-p19-/- GC B cells was associated with decreased expression of CSR-related novel base excision repair genes that were otherwise predominantly expressed by Il17ra + GC B cells in BXD2 mice. Together, these results suggest that although IL-23 is dispensable for GC formation, it is essential to promote a population of Tfh-IL-17 cells. IL-23 acts indirectly on Il17ra + GC B cells to facilitate CSR-related base excision repair genes during the dark zone phase of GC B cell development. Copyright © 2020 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.


Huixian Hong, Min Gao, Qi Wu, PingAr Yang, Shanrun Liu, Hao Li, Peter D Burrows, Daniel Cua, Jake Y Chen, Hui-Chen Hsu, John D Mountz. IL-23 Promotes a Coordinated B Cell Germinal Center Program for Class-Switch Recombination to IgG2b in BXD2 Mice. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). 2020 Jul 15;205(2):346-358

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PMID: 32554431

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