The role of the T follicular helper cells in allergic disease.
ABSTRACT T follicular helper (Tfh) cells were discovered just over a decade ago as germinal centre T cells that help B cells make antibodies. Included in this role is affinity maturation and isotype switching. It is here that their functions become less clear. Tfh cells principally produce IL-21 which inhibits class switching to IgE. Recent studies have questioned whether the germinal centre is the main site of IgE class switching or IgE affinity maturation. In this review, I will examine the evidence that these cells are responsible for regulating IgE class switching and the relationship between Tfh cells and T helper 2 (Th2) effector cells.