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Autoimmune Dis. 2011;2011:939520. doi: 10.4061/2011/939520. Epub 2011 Nov 28.

B-cell-activating factor and autoimmune myasthenia gravis.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.


BAFF is a potent B-cell survival factor, and it plays an essential role in B-cell homeostasis and B-cell function in the periphery. Both normal and autoreactive B cells are BAFF dependent; however, excess BAFF promotes the survival, growth, and maturation of autoreactive B cells. When overexpressed, BAFF protects B cells from apoptosis, thereby contributing to autoimmunity. Three independent studies have shown higher BAFF levels in the circulation of MG patients. BAFF may play an important role in the pathogenesis of MG. BAFF antagonists may well provide new treatment options for MG patients, particularly those patients with thymic lymphoid follicular hyperplasia.

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