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Autoimmun Rev. 2008 Feb;7(4):313-6. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2007.11.027. Epub 2008 Jan 8.

B cell autonomous TLR signaling and autoimmunity.

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Seattle Children's Hospital Research Institute, Seattle, WA 98101, USA.


B cells play a central role in the pathogenesis of multiple autoimmune diseases and the recognition of the importance of B cells in these disorders has grown dramatically in association with the remarkable success of B cell depletion as a treatment for autoimmunity. The precise mechanisms that promote alterations in B cell tolerance remain incompletely defined. There is increasing evidence, however, that TLRs play a major role in these events. Stimulation of B cells via the TLR pathway not only leads to an increase in antibody production but also promotes additional changes including cytokine production and up-regulation of activation markers increasing the effectiveness of B cells as APCs. Understanding the role of TLRs in systemic autoimmunity will not only provide insight into the disease pathogenesis but may also lead to the development of novel therapies. This article gives an overview of TLR signaling in B cells and the possible involvement of such signals in autoimmune diseases.

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