Jonathan Coquet Group

Our group is interested in how T cells develop and differentiate in response to antigens and cytokines. In particular, the group is focused on understanding the role of T cells in allergy and cancer.

A picture of Jonathan Coquets research group
Members of Jonathan Coquets research group in December 2021 Photo: N/A

A part of the Laboratory of Lymphocyte Differentiation

Jonathan Coquet laboratory website

Research Description

T cells recognise peptide/lipid ligands presented in the context of MHC or MHC-like molecules expressed on antigen presenting cells. In particular, the group has a special focus on CD4 T cells, which when activated differentiate into T helper cells with potent cytokine-secreting function. Over the past three decades, several distinct T helper cell subsets have been described including Th1, Th2, Th17, Treg and others and these all exert quite unique immune modulatory effects. My group has many interests, including:

  • Understanding how T helper cells promote health and disease
  • Deciphering factors that regulate T helper cell function and differentiation
  • Phenotyping T helper cells in lymphoid and non-lymphoid tissues in diseased and healthy contexts
  • Probing for other functionalities in the T helper cell spectrum
  • Understanding how environmental factors may impact on T helper cell functions


Our group is interested in understanding immune responses to allergens. T helper cells, in particular IL-4, IL-5 and IL-13 producing Th2 cells have a central role in mediating the pathogenesis of asthma. Over the last few years, we have demonstrated that these cells are characterised by the high expression of genes associated with lipid metabolism including PPAR-g, which likely regulates metabolism in Th2 cells and also promotes effector gene expression.

Microscope image of inflammated airways.

Many other T helper cell subsets are thought to regulate asthma, especially in adults, and we are interested in characterising T helper cells in different phenotypes of asthma and allergy. Right now, we have a focus on performing single cell RNA-Sequencing analyses in different clinical and preclinical contexts, in order to paint a really clear picture of the T helper cell phenotype in different allergies.

An important factor in the striking rise in allergy incidence over the last few decades has been a complete upheaval in our way of life. Our infectious landscape, diets, living conditions and many other things have changed dramatically over this time, and many of these factors are associated with a rise in the incidence of allergies. We are now devoting more time into understanding how some of these factors from our environment may be affecting allergic sensitisation and aiming to model these in our preclinical allergy models.


There is an increasing appreciation that the immune system is intricately involved in the process of cancer initiation and growth. The bulk of research into cancer immunology has focussed on the role of CD8 T cells, and for good reason. However, understanding the role of CD4 T cells and harnessing their full potential is likely to lead to even better outcomes for patients with cancer. Our group is actively pursuing the elucidation of novel genes that may regulate the function of CD8 T lymphocytes in cancer. Further, we are interested in understanding more fully what impact CD4 T cells may have on the process of cancer development, and how these cells may be harnessed to potentiate cancer immunotherapy.

Selected Publications

Laboratory mice with a wild microbiota generate strong allergic immune responses.
Ma J, Urgard E, Runge S, Classon CH, Mathä L, Stark JM, Cheng L, Álvarez JA, von Zedtwitz S, Baleviciute A, Martinez Hoyer S, Li M, Gernand AM, Osbelt L, Bielecka AA, Lesker TR, Huang HJ, Vrtala S, Boon L, Beyaert R, Adner M, Martinez Gonzalez I, Strowig T, Du J, Nylén S, Rosshart SP, Coquet JM
Sci Immunol 2023 Sep;8(87):eadf7702

Open access link:

Recombinant multimeric dog allergen prevents airway hyperresponsiveness in a model of asthma marked by vigorous TH 2 and TH 17 cell responses.
Stark JM, Liu J, Tibbitt CA, Christian M, Ma J, Wintersand A, Dunst J, Kreslavsky T, Murrell B, Adner M, Grönlund H, Gafvelin G, Coquet JM
Allergy 2022 Oct;77(10):2987-3001

Single-cell analysis pinpoints distinct populations of cytotoxic CD4+ T cells and an IL-10+CD109+ TH2 cell population in nasal polyps. 
Ma J, Tibbitt CA, Georén SK, Christian M, Murrell B, Cardell LO, Bachert C, Coquet JM. 
Sci Immunol. 2021 Aug 13;6(62). 

GPR43 regulates marginal zone B-cell responses to foreign and endogenous antigens.  Rohrbeck L, Adori M, Wang S, He C, Tibbitt CA, Chernyshev M, Sirel M, Ribacke U, Murrell B, Bohlooly-Y M, Karlsson MC, Karlsson Hedestam GB, Coquet JM. 
Immunol Cell Biol. 2021 Feb;99(2):234-243. 

Beta RBD boost broadens antibody-mediated protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants in animal models. 
Sheward DJ, Mandolesi M, Urgard E, Kim C, Hanke L, Perez Vidakovics L, Pankow A, Smith NL, Castro Dopico X, McInerney GM, Coquet JM, Karlsson Hedestam GB, Murrell B. 
Cell Rep Med. 2021 Nov 16;2(11):100450.

The Role of PPAR-γ in Allergic Disease. 
Stark JM, Coquet JM, Tibbitt CA. 
Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2021 Oct 25;21(11):45. 

A singular role for interleukin-9 in the development of asthma. 
Coquet JM. 
Sci Immunol. 2020 Jun 12;5(48). 

Single-Cell RNA Sequencing of the T Helper Cell Response to House Dust Mites Defines a Distinct Gene Expression Signature in Airway Th2 Cells.
Tibbitt CA, Stark JM, Martens L, Ma J, Mold JE, Deswarte K, et al
Immunity 2019 07;51(1):169-184.e5

The Metabolic Requirements of Th2 Cell Differentiation.
Stark JM, Tibbitt CA, Coquet JM
Front Immunol 2019 ;10():2318

Atrophy of skin-draining lymph nodes predisposes for impaired immune responses to secondary infection in mice with chronic intestinal nematode infection.
Feng X, Classon C, Terán G, Yang Y, Li L, Chan S, et al
PLoS Pathog. 2018 05;14(5):e1007008

PPAR-γ promotes type 2 immune responses in allergy and nematode infection
Ting Chen, Christopher A. Tibbitt, Xiaogang Feng, Julian M. Stark, Leona Rohrbeck, Lisa Rausch, Saikiran K Sedimbi, Mikael C. I. Karlsson, Bart N. Lambrecht, Gunilla B. Karlsson Hedestam, Rudi W. Hendriks, Benedict J. Chambers, Susanne Nylén and Jonathan M. Coquet
Science Immunology 10 Mar 2017: Vol. 2, Issue 9, DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aal5196
Read the full text article here

Interleukin-21-Producing CD4(+) T Cells Promote Type 2 Immunity to House Dust Mites.
Coquet J, Schuijs M, Smyth M, Deswarte K, Beyaert R, Braun H, et al
Immunity 2015 Aug;43(2):318-30

The importance of co-stimulation in the orchestration of T helper cell differentiation.
Coquet J, Rausch L, Borst J
Immunol. Cell Biol. 2015 Oct;93(9):780-8

The CD27 and CD70 costimulatory pathway inhibits effector function of T helper 17 cells and attenuates associated autoimmunity.
Coquet JM, Middendorp S, van der Horst G, Kind J, Veraar EA, Xiao Y, et al
Immunity 2013 Jan;38(1):53-65

Epithelial and dendritic cells in the thymic medulla promote CD4+Foxp3+ regulatory T cell development via the CD27-CD70 pathway.
Coquet JM, Ribot JC, Bąbała N, Middendorp S, van der Horst G, Xiao Y, et al
J. Exp. Med. 2013 Apr;210(4):715-28


We are always looking for enthusiastic researchers to join the group, so don’t be afraid to contact Jonathan Coquet on the email address below


Jonathan is and has been supported by funding from the Swedish Research Council, Cancerfonden, Barncancerfonden, KI foundations, Ollie and Elof Ericsson Stiftelse, Klas Groschinsky foundation and Sagens Stiftelse.

Group members

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Junjie Ma

PhD student
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Egon Urgard

Postdoctoral researcher
Content reviewer:
Sara Lidman