Phosphoinositide 3-kinase activity in T cells regulates the magnitude of the germinal center reaction.
Rolf J., Bell SE., Kovesdi D., Janas ML., Soond DR., Webb LMC., Santinelli S., Saunders T., Hebeis B., Killeen N., Okkenhaug K., Turner M.
The generation of high-affinity Abs is essential for immunity and requires collaboration between B and T cells within germinal centers (GCs). By using novel mouse models with a conditional deletion of the p110δ catalytic subunit of the PI3K pathway, we established that p110δ is required in T cells, but not in B cells, for the GC reaction. We found the formation of T follicular helper (T(FH)) cells to be critically dependent on p110δ in T cells. Furthermore, by deleting phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10, which opposes p110δ in activated T cells, we found a positive correlation between increased numbers of T(FH) cells and GC B cells. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that T cell help is the limiting factor in the GC reaction. P110δ was not required for the expression of B cell lymphoma 6, the downregulation of CCR7, or T cell entry into primary follicles. Instead, p110δ was the critical catalytic subunit for ICOS downstream signaling and the production of key T(FH) cytokines and effector molecules. Our findings support a model in which the magnitude of the GC reaction is controlled by the activity of the PI3K pathway in T(FH) cells.