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J Immunol. 2009 Dec 1;183(11):7140-9. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0901175. Epub 2009 Nov 4.

Plasmacytoid dendritic cells regulate autoreactive B cell activation via soluble factors and in a cell-to-cell contact manner.

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Tumor Immunobiology Program, James Graham Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202, USA.


Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are specialized type I IFN producers, which play an important role in pathogenesis of autoimmune disorders. Dysregulated autoreactive B cell activation is a hallmark in most autoimmune diseases. This study was undertaken to investigate interactions between pDCs and autoreactive B cells. After coculture of autoreactive B cells that recognize self-Ag small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles with activated pDCs, we found that pDCs significantly enhance autoreactive B cell proliferation, autoantibody production, and survival in response to TLR and BCR stimulation. Neutralization of IFN-alpha/beta and IL-6 abrogated partially pDC-mediated enhancement of autoreactive B cell activation. Transwell studies demonstrated that pDCs could provide activation signals to autoreactive B cells via a cell-to-cell contact manner. The involvement of the ICAM-1-LFA-1 pathway was revealed as contributing to this effect. This in vitro enhancement effect was further demonstrated by an in vivo B cell adoptive transfer experiment, which showed that autoreactive B cell proliferation and activation were significantly decreased in MyD88-deficient mice compared with wild-type mice. These data suggest the dynamic interplay between pDCs and B cells is required for full activation of autoreactive B cells upon TLR or BCR stimulation.

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