A Subset Apart? Th9 cell regulation and current limitations to study

Zihan Zheng, Jiwon Kang

Department of Microbiology & Immunology, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA


Th9 cells are a CD4+ T helper subset that has garnered considerable attention recently, due to their ability to produce large amounts of the cytokine IL-9. Many functional and regulatory roles associated with them are currently not fully understood. In this paper, we attempt to study several of the distinguishing features of Th9 cells to lead to a firmer understanding of the subset and its role in immunity. We consider and discuss some of the current limitations to studying Th9s, as well other Th9 properties of interest, on the levels of Th9 stimulation/differentiation, transcription factor interplay/ internal protein regulation, and cytokine secretion. In particular, we highlight the role of some potential co-stimulatory factors, as well as the utility of confirming a lineage-defining transcription factor. Journal of Nature and Science, 1(5):e101, 2015

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