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MicroRNA-146a regulates ICOS-ICOSL signalling to limit accumulation of T follicular helper cells and germinal centres.


ABSTRACT: Tight control of T follicular helper (Tfh) cells is required for optimal maturation of the germinal centre (GC) response. The molecular mechanisms controlling Tfh-cell differentiation remain incompletely understood. Here we show that microRNA-146a (miR-146a) is highly expressed in Tfh cells and peak miR-146a expression marks the decline of the Tfh response after immunization. Loss of miR-146a causes cell-intrinsic accumulation of Tfh and GC B cells. MiR-146a represses several Tfh-cell-expressed messenger RNAs, and of these, ICOS is the most strongly cell autonomously upregulated target in miR-146a-deficient T cells. In addition, miR-146a deficiency leads to increased ICOSL expression on GC B cells and antigen-presenting cells. Partial blockade of ICOS signalling, either by injections of low dose of ICOSL blocking antibody or by halving the gene dose of Icos in miR-146a-deficient T cells, prevents the Tfh and GC B-cell accumulation. Collectively, miR-146a emerges as a post-transcriptional brake to limit Tfh cells and GC responses.

SUBMITTER: Pratama A 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4366510 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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