|TH cell subset||Cytokines secreted||Function|
|TH1||IFN‑γ, IL‑2, TNF-α|
|TH2||IL‑4, IL‑5, IL‑6, IL‑13|
|TH17||IL‑17A, IL‑17F, IL‑21, IL‑22, IL-26|
|TH22||IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, IL-21|
|TfH||IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, IL-21|
Depending on the cytokine environment, naïve TH cells might differentiate into several subsets, including TH1, TH2, TH17, TH9, TH22 cells, and T follicular helper cells (TfH). Naïve TH cells can furthermore differentiate into induced regulatory T cells (iTreg; PMID: 26688349). See chapter Regulatory T cells. à link to Detail page Source: Mouse – Regulatory T cells
Most T cell subtypes can undergo several differentiation steps after activation by their respective antigen. Apart from differentiating into effector T cells, some naive T cells (TNAIVE) may differentiate into various memory T cell subsets, including stem cell–like memory T cells (TSCM), central memory T cells (TCM), and effector memory T cells (TEM). Each subset is defined by distinct surface markers. Antigen-inexperienced T cells express homing receptors CD62L and CCR7, but lack expression of activation markers CD44 and CD95. With ongoing differentiation towards the memory phenotypes, CD62L and CCR7 are down-regulated, while CD44 and CD95 are gradually up-regulated. With progressive differentiation towards the memory phenotype, antigen-dependency, tissue tropism, effector function and senescence increase (PMID: 24258910, 26999211)Shared features of all memory T cell subtypes are that they are long-lived and can quickly expand to large numbers of effector T cells upon re-exposure to their cognate antigen, thereby mounting a faster and more potent immune response than the first immune response to a given pathogen. The different subtypes exert different functions and exhibit different properties, such as tissue tropism or capacity for self-renewal, reflecting the specific immune-related circumstances that led to their differentiation into a given memory subtype.
Typically, the frequency of naïve T cells specific for a given antigen is very low, ranging between 0.01 and 0.001% of the total T cell count, depending on the respective specificity. When a naïve T cell encounters its cognate antigen and is consequently activated, clonal expansion begins, boosting the frequency of those antigen-specific T cells by several orders of magnitude. This way, they can efficiently fulfill their role as effectors in the immune response (PMID: 22517866, 17707129).
Most clonally expanded antigen-specific T cells die after the termination of the immune response, but a small percentage survive as memory T cells. Memory T cells have a long lifespan and can quickly expand to large numbers of effector T cells upon re-exposure to their cognate antigen. At birth, the T cell repertoire is almost exclusively composed of naïve T cells. With progressing age and antigen-experience, memory T cells may become the most abundant T cell population, constituting up to 35% of all circulating T cells (PMID: 24336101).Notably, laboratory mice carry almost exclusively naïve T cells due to their specific holding conditions and relatively young average age. This, of course, changes dramatically in certain disease-related experimental settings. In humans, the frequency of naïve and memory T cells greatly depends on age, living conditions, and individual history of immune responses.
The main source for mouse CD4+ TH cells are single-cell suspensions from spleen and lymph nodes. The tissue must be dissociated into a single-cell suspension for many downstream applications, including isolation of cell subpopulations, cell culture, or flow cytometry analysis.Dissociation can be accomplished fully automatically using the gentleMACS™ Dissociator and specific Tissue Dissociation Kits (e.g., Spleen Dissociation Kit, mouse). A special protocol for the preparation of single-cell suspensions from mouse spleen without enzymatic treatment can be downloaded from the Related Resources panel to the right. Alternatively, tissues can be dissociated using a manual procedure. For details, see chapter Mouse cell sources.
|Starting material||Isolation strategy||Comments||Automation||Product|
|Single-cell suspensions from spleen and lymph nodes||Positive selection of target cells||The CD4 antigen is expressed on most thymocytes and mature T helper cells, on a subset of NKT cells and at lower levels on a subpopulation of dendritic cells.||Yes|
CD4 (L3T4) MicroBeads, mouse
|Single-cell suspensions from spleen and lymph nodes||Depletion of non-target cells||Isolation of CD4+ T cells via depletion of all non-target cells via antibodies against CD8a, CD11b, CD11c, CD19, CD45R (B220), CD49b (DX5), CD105, Anti-MHC-class II, Ter-119, and TCRγ/δ.||Yes|
CD4 (L3T4) MicroBeads, mouse, were developed for positive selection or depletion of mouse CD4+ T cells from spleen and lymphoid tissue single-cell suspensions. With only 13.5 minutes processing time from single-cell suspension to target cells, they offer the fastest way to isolate CD4+ T cells without activation or any other effect on cell biology. The non-target cell fraction can be used for a further separation round to isolate other subsets.
Fast isolation of CD4+ T cells. A single-cell suspension from mouse spleen was prepared using the gentleMACS Dissociator. CD4+ T cells were isolated from this single-cell suspension using the CD4 (L3T4) MicroBeads, an LS Column, and a QuadroMACS™ Separator. Cells were fluorescently stained with CD45-VioGreen™, CD4-VioBlue® and CD8a-PE-Vio®770 and analyzed by flow cytometry using the MACSQuant® Analyzer. Viable leukocytes were gated for analysis based on scatter signals, 7-AAD Staining Solution fluorescence, and CD45 expression.
Effective isolation of untouched CD4+ T cells. A single-cell suspension from mouse spleen was prepared using the program m_spleen_01.01 on the gentleMACS Dissociator. CD4+ T cells were isolated from this single-cell suspension using the CD4+ T Cell Isolation Kit, an LS Column, and a MidiMACS™ Separator. Cells were fluorescently stained with the MC CD4 T Cell Cocktail and analyzed by flow cytometry using the MACSQuant Analyzer. Cell debris and dead cells were excluded from the analysis based on scatter signals and propidium iodide fluorescence.
|Starting material||Isolation strategy||Comments||Automation||Product|
|Single-cell suspensions from spleen and lymph nodes||Depletion of non-target cells||Isolation of naive CD4+ T cells via depletion of all memory T cells, CD8+ T cells, and non-T cell types||Yes|
|Single-cell suspensions from spleen and lymph nodes||Sequential separation||Separation of CD4+ CD62L+ T cells in combination with depletion of CD8a+ and non-T cells. CD62L is expressed on naive T cells and early stages of memory T cells (TSCM, TCM). Samples from younger mice tend to have less of those early memory T cells, so that the kit mainly separates naive CD4+ T cells. Older mice have a higher frequency of memory T cells, so that separation with this kit results in a mixed population of naive and early memory T cells.||Yes|
|Single-cell suspensions from spleen and lymph nodes||Positive selection of target cells||CD62L (L-Selectin) is a naïve/early memory T cell marker for central memory T cells. In combination with pre-selection via the CD4+ T Cell Isolation Kit, CD4+ central memory T cells can be separated based on CD62L expression.||Yes|
(after pre-selection with CD4+ T cell Isolation Kit, mouse)
Specialized kits are available for the isolation of further CD4+ T cell subsets. Mouse naïve CD4+ T cells can be isolated by depletion of all memory T cells, CD8+ T cells, and non-T cell types using the Naive CD4+ T Cell Isolation Kit, mouse.
Isolation of naïve CD4+ T cells from mouse spleen. Naïve CD4+ T cells were isolated from a single-cell suspension from mouse spleen using the Naive CD4+ T Cell Isolation Kit, an LS Column, and a MidiMACS Separator. Cells were fluorescently stained with CD45-VioGreen, CD4-VioBlue, CD62L-PE, CD3ε-APC-Vio770, and CD44-FITC and analyzed by flow cytometry using the MACSQuant Analyzer. Cell debris and dead cells were excluded from the analysis based on scatter signals and propidium iodide fluorescence and a gate was set on CD45+ cells.
The following surface markers, cytokines, and transcription factors can be used to identify CD4+ T cells and subsets according to their development state or subtype.
|T cell development – naive vs. memory (TSCM/TCM/TEM/TRM)||CD4+ T cell subsets (TH1/TH2/TH9/TH17/TH22/TfH)||Activated T cells||Exhausted T cells|
|CD27||CD161 (NK1.1)||CD8b||CD96 (TACTILE)|
|CD28||CD183 (CXCR3)||CD25 (IL2A)||CD152 (CTLA-4)|
|CD44||CD185 (CXCR5)||CD27||CD160 (NK1)|
|CD62L||CD194 (CCR4)||CD28||CD223 (LAG-3)|
|CD103||CD197 (CCR7)||CD69||CD272 (BTLA)|
|CD127||CCR10||CD95 (FAS-R)||CD278 (ICOS)|
|CD197 (CCR7)||IL-2||CD134 (OX40)||CD279 (PD1)|
|IL-4||CD137 (4-1BB)||CD366 (TIM-3)|
Miltenyi Biotec offers a range of solutions for the analysis of T cell-associated surface markers and cytokines:
|Culture medium||Optimized T cell media without serum or animal-derived components. Also available in MACS GMP grade and with or without phenol red.||TexMACS Medium|
|Supplement||Consistent, high-quality recombinant cytokines for successful cell culture. Available in premium, research and MACS GMP grades.||MACS Cytokines|
|Stimulation||Cell-sized activation beads (‘artificial APCs’) loaded with activating CD3 and CD28 antibodies.||T Cell Activation/Expansion Kit, mouse|
|Stimulation||In vitro T cell activation and expansion||CD3ε pure – functional grade, mouse|
CD28 pure – functional grade, mouse
MACS Cytokines are available in three different grades – research, premium, and MACS GMP grade – to provide best flexibility in any assay setup. Notably, premium-grade MACS Cytokines exhibit well-defined biological activities, normalized to international reference standards (IU/mg), that allow exact unit dosing for reproducible results without laborious pre-testing.
Finally, the antibodies CD3e and CD28 pure – functional grade, mouse are suitable for in vitro T cell activation and expansion. The CD3e (145-2C11) and CD28 (37.51) antibodies recognize the respective mouse receptors. Via receptor binding, a stimulatory signal is transferred that, in combination with additional cytokines (e.g., IL-2), leads to the activation and expansion of T cells.
|Differentiation||Consistent, high-quality recombinant cytokines for successful cell culture. Available in premium, research and MACS GMP grades.||MACS Cytokines|
|Differentiation||Functional-grade antibodies effectively mimic or inhibit ligand-receptor interactions.||Functional-grade antibodies|
|Differentiation||Complete starter kit for polarization of TH1 cells including all needed cytokines and functional-grade antibodies.||CytoBox Th1, mouse|
|Differentiation||Complete starter kit for polarization of TH2 cells including all needed cytokines and functional-grade antibodies.||CytoBox Th2, mouse|
|Differentiation||Complete starter kit for polarization of TH17 cells including all needed cytokines and functional-grade antibodies.||CytoBox Th17, mouse|
By combining polarizing cytokines and blocking or activating antibodies (‘functional-grade’), naive CD4+ cells can be differentiated into different TH cell subtypes. With the optimized TexMACS™ Medium, premium-grade cytokines, and a vast array of functional-grade antibodies, Miltenyi Biotec offers all the reagents required for efficient polarization of naïve CD4+ T cells.
CytoBoxes TH1, TH2, and TH17 are the ideal tools for the polarization of mouse CD4+ T cells into the respective TH cell subset. The CytoBoxes comprise all cytokines and functional-grade antibodies needed for an efficient polarization – ready-to-use at an optimal ratio. Differentiation efficiency is boosted with the use of TexMACS Medium.
For detailed information about Miltenyi Biotech media optimized for T cells, see chapter Cell culture media.
Mouse T cells can also be obtained from non-lymphoid tissue. Miltenyi Biotec offers a variety of solutions for the preparation of non-lymphoid mouse tissue as well as the subsequent separation, cultivation, and analysis of the respective T cell populations.
Depending on the respective organ and the inflammatory context, T cell frequencies are highly variable in non-lymphoid tissue. Furthermore, T cells vary in the expression of certain surface markers, such as homing receptors, adhesion molecules, and chemokine receptors, with regard to their tissue tropism. Although the expression of those markers somewhat depends on the specific T cell subtype and differentiation status, certain receptors, especially in memory T cells, can be defined as hallmarks for tissue tropism.For the flow cytometry analysis of tissue-derived T cells, Miltenyi Biotec offers comprehensive panels of antibodies corresponding to the markers indicated in the table above.