Differentiation of naïve CD4(+) T cells into functionally distinct T helper subsets is crucial for the orchestration of immune responses. Due to extensive heterogeneity and multiple overlapping transcriptional programs in differentiating T cell populations, this process has remained a challenge for systematic dissection in vivo. By using single-cell transcriptomics and computational analysis using a temporal mixtures of Gaussian processes model, termed GPfates, we reconstructed the developmental trajectories of Th1 and Tfh cells during blood-stage Plasmodium infection in mice. By tracking clonality using endogenous TCR sequences, we first demonstrated that Th1/Tfh bifurcation had occurred at both population and single-clone levels. Next, we identified genes whose expression was associated with Th1 or Tfh fates, and demonstrated a T-cell intrinsic role for Galectin-1 in supporting a Th1 differentiation. We also revealed the close molecular relationship between Th1 and IL-10-producing Tr1 cells in this infection. Th1 and Tfh fates emerged from a highly proliferative precursor that upregulated aerobic glycolysis and accelerated cell cycling as cytokine expression began. Dynamic gene expression of chemokine receptors around bifurcation predicted roles for cell-cell in driving Th1/Tfh fates. In particular, we found that precursor Th cells were coached towards a Th1 but not a Tfh fate by inflammatory monocytes. Thus, by integrating genomic and computational approaches, our study has provided two unique resources, a database www.PlasmoTH.org, which facilitates discovery of novel factors controlling Th1/Tfh fate commitment, and more generally, GPfates, a modelling framework for characterizing cell differentiation towards multiple fates.
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES -- Basic Medicine -- Cell and Molecular Biology (hsv//eng)
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP -- Medicinska och farmaceutiska grundvetenskaper -- Cell- och molekylärbiologi (hsv//swe)
MEDICIN OCH HÄLSOVETENSKAP -- Medicinska och farmaceutiska grundvetenskaper (hsv//swe)
MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES -- Basic Medicine (hsv//eng)