CXCR5 is a hallmark of T follicular helper (Tfh) cells. The mechanism of CXCR5 induction, however, is still incompletely understood. In this study, we report that in mice with the absence of transcription factor Bach2, the Th17-inducing cytokines IL-6 and TGF-β together induced CXCR5 expression in vitro. Mechanistically, IL-6/STAT3 drove Cxcr5 promoter activity via the upstream site 1 regulatory element, whereas TGF-β enhanced permissive histone modifications, and the STAT3 binding to the site 1 regulatory element was higher in the absence of Bach2. Subsequently, despite previous studies showing enhanced Th17 cell differentiation in the absence of Bach2 in vitro, we found that in vivo, the Bach2 deficiency led to an enhanced Tfh cell response at the expense of the Th17 cell response. These findings suggest that Bach2 helps integrate cytokine signals to arbitrate differentiation decisions between Tfh and Th17 lineages.

You do not currently have access to this content.