Ifnγ induces epigenetic programming of human t-bethi b cells and promotes tlr7/8 and il-21 induced differentiation

Academic Article


  • Although B cells expressing the IFNγR or the IFNγ-inducible transcription factor T-bet promote autoimmunity in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)-prone mouse models, the role for IFNγ signaling in human antibody responses is unknown. We show that elevated levels of IFNγ in SLE patients correlate with expansion of the T-bet expressing IgDnegCD27negCD11c+CXCR5neg (DN2) pre-antibody secreting cell (pre-ASC) subset. We demonstrate that naïve B cells form T-bethi pre-ASCs following stimulation with either Th1 cells or with IFNγ, IL-2, anti-Ig and TLR7/8 ligand and that IL-21 dependent ASC formation is significantly enhanced by IFNγ or IFNγ-producing T cells. IFNγ promotes ASC development by synergizing with IL-2 and TLR7/8 ligands to induce genome-wide epigenetic reprogramming of B cells, which results in increased chromatin accessibility surrounding IRF4 and BLIMP1 binding motifs and epigenetic remodeling of IL21R and PRDM1 loci. Finally, we show that IFNγ signals poise B cells to differentiate by increasing their responsiveness to IL-21.
  • Published In

  • eLife  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Zumaquero E; Stone SL; Scharer CD; Jenks SA; Nellore A; Mousseau B; Vela AR; Botta D; Bradley JE; Wojciechowski W
  • Volume

  • 8