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Bone. 2010 Sep;47(3):472-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2010.06.011. Epub 2010 Jun 18.

How B cells influence bone biology in health and disease.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA. mark.horowitz@yale.edu


It is now well established that important regulatory interactions occur between the cells in the hematopoietic, immune and skeletal systems (osteoimmunology). B lymphocytes (B cells) are responsible for the generation and production of antibodies or immunoglobulins in the body. Together with T cells these lymphocytes comprise the adaptive immune system, which allows an individual to develop specific responses to an infection and retain memory of that infection, allowing for a faster and more robust response if that same infection occurs again. In addition to this immune function, B cells have a close and multifaceted relationship with bone cells. B cells differentiate from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in supportive niches found on endosteal bone surfaces. Cells in the osteoblast lineage support HSC and B cell differentiation in these niches. B cell differentiation is regulated, at least in part, by a series of transcription factors that function in a temporal manner. While these transcription factors are required for B cell differentiation, their loss causes profound changes in the bone phenotype. This is due, in part, to the close relationship between macrophage/osteoclast and B cell differentiation. Cross talk between B cells and bone cells is reciprocal with defects in the RANKL-RANK, OPG signaling axis resulting in altered bone phenotypes. While the role of B cells during normal bone remodeling appears minimal, activated B cells play an important role in many inflammatory diseases with associated bony changes. This review examines the relationship between B cells and bone cells and how that relationship affects the skeleton and hematopoiesis during health and disease.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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