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Eur J Immunol. 2006 Sep;36(9):2504-14.

Development of nephritis but not sialadenitis in autoimmune-prone BAFF transgenic mice lacking marginal zone B cells.

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Immunology and Inflammation Research Program, The Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Sydney, Australia.


B cell-activating factor belonging to the TNF family (BAFF) is a B cell survival factor required for B cell maturation. BAFF transgenic (Tg) mice develop autoimmune disorders characterized by autoantibody production, which leads to nephritis and salivary gland destruction (sialadenitis), features reminiscent of systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjögren's syndrome (SS), respectively. Disease in BAFF Tg mice correlates with the expansion of the marginal zone (MZ) B cell compartment and the abnormal presence of MZ-like B cells in the blood, LN and inflamed salivary glands, suggesting a role for these cells in BAFF-induced autoimmunity. Lymphotoxin-beta (LTbeta)-deficient mice show disrupted splenic architecture, lack MZ B cells and some peripheral LN, and are unable to mount T cell-dependent immune responses. BAFF Tg mice lacking LTbeta (LTbetaDelta-BTg) retained these defects, yet still developed nephritis associated with the presence of B-1 B cells in the kidneys. However, in contrast to old BAFF Tg mice, aging LTbetaDelta-BTg mice no longer developed sialadenitis. Thus, autoimmune disorders in BAFF Tg mice are possibly events coordinated by MZ and B-1 B cells at separate anatomical sites.

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