IL-9 and Th9 cells in health and diseases—From tolerance to immunopathology

Junhui Li, Shuqiu Chen, Xiang Xiao, Yong Zhao, Wenjun Ding, Xian C. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


CD4+ T cells have the capacity to differentiate into various T helper (Th) cell subsets after activation, and by acquiring distinct cytokine profiles and effector functions, they regulate the nature as well as the outcomes of immune responses. Th9 cells are a relatively new member in the Th cell family. The signature cytokine for Th9 cells is IL-9, a cytokine in the IL-2Rγc-chain family. Over the past few years, there has been an explosion of knowledge on the roles of Th9 cells in immunity and immunopathology, but the exact mechanisms in the control of Th9 cells remain poorly defined. This apparent paradox presents both challenges and opportunities. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of the fundamental biology of IL-9 and Th9 cells, highlighting the challenges and unanswered questions in the field. We also discuss potential opportunities in targeting Th9 cells for therapeutic purposes in the clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalCytokine and Growth Factor Reviews
StatePublished - Oct 2017


  • Immunity and immunopathology
  • Th9
  • Therapeutic purposes
  • Transcription mechanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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