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Rheumatology (Oxford). 2007 Jul;46(7):1083-6. Epub 2007 May 11.

Expression of B-cell activating factor of the tumour necrosis factor family (BAFF) in T cells in active systemic lupus erythematosus: the role of BAFF in T cell-dependent B cell pathogenic autoantibody production.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine and Rheumatology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan. morimoto@med.juntendo.ac.jp

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine whether B cell activating factor of the tumour necrosis factor family (BAFF) is involved in T cell-dependent B cell pathogenic autoantibody production in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

METHODS:

Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 23 SLE patients were analysed by flow cytometry to examine the intracellular expression of BAFF in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and the surface expression of BAFF-receptor (R) and TACI on CD20+ B cells. Moreover, peripheral blood was used to determine the level of BAFF messenger RNA (mRNA) in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and the level of BAFF-R mRNA in CD20+ B cells. Blocking of BAFF function with TACI-Ig measured anti-double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

RESULTS:

CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from patients with active SLE expressed intracellular BAFF whereas those from normal subjects did not. BAFF-R and TACI were expressed on B cells from both normal controls and patients with active SLE and there was no significant difference. CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from SLE patients expressed BAFF mRNA whereas those from normal controls did not. Expression of BAFF-R mRNA in CD20+ B cells showed no significant difference between SLE patients and normal controls. TACI-Ig suppressed spontaneous in vitro T cell-dependent B cell anti-dsDNA antibodies production on active SLE with kidney involvement.

CONCLUSIONS:

BAFF may play a pathogenic role in SLE by stimulating T cell-dependent B cell autoantibodies production. Blockade of BAFF is a promising therapeutic approach for SLE especially in patients with kidney involvement.

PMID:
17500077
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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