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Fukuoka Igaku Zasshi. 2005 Apr;96(4):86-92.

[B cells as key contributors in determining the level of immune responses -B-cell-targeted therapy in patients with autoimmune diseases].

[Article in Japanese]

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Matsuyama Red Cross Hospital.

Abstract

The levels and types of immune responses are determined dependent on the extent of pathogen invasion, reactions to antigens mediated by macrophage-dendritic cells, T cells and antibodies. Recently, accumulating evidence suggests that B cells also play an important role in the regulation of immune responses. Here we have made a review to present a role of B cells in determining the level of immune responses and discussed about the clinical significance of B cell-targeted therapy in patients with autoimmune diseases. Type 1 diabetes is a T cell-mediated autoimmune disease characterized by the destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. We and other groups have elucidated that B cells play a critical role in the development of insulitis and diabetes, as B-cell-deficient NOD mice are protected from developing type 1 diabetes. B cells are essential for the T cell receptor clonotype spreading of islet-infiltrating T cells, indicating that B cells may play a role in determining the level of immune responses by antigen presentation to antigen specific T cells. There are now numerous case reports and small series of clinical trials regarding rituximab therapy in autoimmune diseases, such as refractory autoimmune hemolytic anemia, IgM antibody-associated polyneuropathy, systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. Rituximab is a genetically engineered chimeric anti-CD 20 monoclonal antibody that is approved for the treatment of lymphoma. CD20 is a B-cell surface antigen that is expressed only on pre- B and mature B cells. Thus, rituximab causes a selective transient depletion of the CD20+ B -cell subpopulation. Rationale and strategy for targeting B cells in the treatment of autoimmune diseases consist of the inhibition of antigen-presentation and co-stimulation that induces T cell expansion and activation. Further careful mechanistic studies are required to develop therapies in patients with autoimmune diseases.

PMID:
15991605
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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