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Nat Rev Immunol. 2007 Aug;7(8):633-43. Epub 2007 Jul 20.

B-cell anergy: from transgenic models to naturally occurring anergic B cells?

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Department of Immunology, University of Colorado Health Science Center and National Jewish Medical Research Center, 1400 Jackson Street, Denver, Colorado 80206, USA.


Anergy, a condition in which cells persist in the periphery but are unresponsive to antigen, is responsible for silencing many self-reactive B cells. Loss of anergy is known to contribute to the development of autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus and type 1 diabetes. Multiple transgenic mouse models have enabled the dissection of mechanisms that underlie anergy, and recently, anergic B cells have been identified in the periphery of wild-type mice. Heterogeneity of mechanistic concepts developed using model systems has complicated our understanding of anergy and its biological features. In this Review, we compare and contrast the salient features of anergic B cells with a view to developing unifying mechanistic hypotheses that explain their lifestyles.

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