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Immunity. 2002 Sep;17(3):235-8.

Dendritic cells, BAFF, and APRIL: innate players in adaptive antibody responses.

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  • 1MRC Centre for Immune Regulation, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom.


The first antibody produced in bacterial or viral infection results from B cell growth as plasmablasts. Dendritic cell-derived TNF-family ligands APRIL and/or BAFF enhance plasmablast survival and differentiation to plasma cells. Expression of these ligands by dendritic cells is promoted by innate immune signals that can convert subliminal B cell activation to a productive response. While this may be lifesaving in the face of infection, it can predispose to autoantibody production.

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