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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Frontiers in Immunology

Volume 5, Issue May 2014, Article number 217.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2014.00217. The corrigendum can be found at DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2014.00217. Copyright © Knox et al.


The T-box transcription factors T-bet and Eomesodermin (Eomes) have been well defined as key drivers of immune cell development and cytolytic function. While the majority of studies have defined the roles of these factors in the context of murine T-cells, recent results have revealed that T-bet, and possibly Eomes, are expressed in other immune cell subsets. To date, the expression patterns of these factors in subsets of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells beyond T-cells remain relatively uncharacterized. In this study, we used multiparametric flow cytometry to characterize T-bet and Eomes expression in major human blood cell subsets, including total CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-cells, γδ T-cells, invariant NKT cells, natural killer cells, B-cells, and dendritic cells. Our studies identified novel cell subsets that express T-bet and Eomes and raise implications for their possible functions in the context of other human immune cell subsets besides their well-known roles in T-cells.

The corrigendum regards data and text for the final figure of the manuscript, Figure 7: Subsequent analysis of T-bet levels in human lymphocytes comparing different permeabilization procedures (eBioscience FoxP3 transcription factor kit, BD Pharmingen Cytofix/Cytoperm) has revealed variable findings in the level of T-bet expression detected within certain lymphocyte populations. While this does not change our conclusions for the majority of the populations assessed in this study, B cells in particular show differences under these conditions. Specifically, permeabilization via the eBioscience FoxP3 transcription factor staining buffer set indicates that subpopulations of memory B cells express significantly higher levels of T-bet (MFI) compared to plasmablasts, and that plasmablasts express T-bet only at low levels. Subsequent RNA transcript analysis confirms that plasmablasts express T-bet RNA at a level comparable to naïve B cells. Together, in combination with fluorescence-minus-one and isotype control studies, these new findings suggest that subsets memory B cells, not plasmablasts, express the highest levels of T-bet in the B cell compartment and plasmablasts express T-bet at a lower frequency than is reported in Figure 7. Figure 7 Legend should read: (C) Histograms depicting T-bet expression levels in B-cells and NK cells from a representative donor. Histograms represent the following subsets: naïve B-cells (thick black line), memory B-cells (shaded gray), plasmablasts (thin black line), CD56bright NK cells (gray line), and CD56dim NK cells (shaded black). B-cell results section should be titled "T-bet is predominantly expressed in mature memory B-cells" and should read: While Eomes was undetectable in B-cells (data not shown), we found T-bet in ~10% of B-cells (Figure 7B). This T-bet expression was largely relegated to memory B-cells, with significantly lower amounts observed in transitional/immature B-cells, naïve B-cells, and plasmablasts (Figure 7B). Greater than 15% of memory B-cells expressed T-bet, a significantly higher frequency than that of all other B-cell populations, suggesting that T-bet may play a particularly important role in memory B-cell function. The discussion related to T-bet expression in plasmablasts should be reconsidered as follows: We found that T-bet is not significantly expressed in transitional/immature B-cells, naïve B-cells, and plasmablasts, but is highly expressed in subsets of memory-B cells. Reduced frequencies of T-bet expression in plasmablasts indicate a specific role for T-bet at the memory B-cell stage of development, which may no longer be necessary after further differentiation to the plasmablast stage. Conflict of Interest Statement The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

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