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J Immunol. 2010 May 1;184(9):4801-9. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0902385. Epub 2010 Apr 5.

Regulatory B cells (B10 cells) have a suppressive role in murine lupus: CD19 and B10 cell deficiency exacerbates systemic autoimmunity.

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Department of Dermatology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.


B cells play critical roles in the pathogenesis of lupus. To examine the influence of B cells on disease pathogenesis in a murine lupus model, New Zealand Black and New Zealand White F(1) hybrid (NZB/W) mice were generated that were deficient for CD19 (CD19(-/-) NZB/W mice), a B cell-specific cell surface molecule that is essential for optimal B cell signal transduction. The emergence of anti-nuclear Abs was significantly delayed in CD19(-/-) NZB/W mice compared with wild type NZB/W mice. However, the pathologic manifestations of nephritis appeared significantly earlier, and survival was significantly reduced in CD19(-/-) NZB/W mice compared with wild type mice. These results demonstrate both disease-promoting and protective roles for B cells in lupus pathogenesis. Recent studies have identified a potent regulatory B cell subset (B10 cells) within the rare CD1d(hi)CD5(+) B cell subset of the spleen that regulates acute inflammation and autoimmunity through the production of IL-10. In wild type NZB/W mice, the CD1d(hi)CD5(+)B220(+) B cell subset that includes B10 cells was increased by 2.5-fold during the disease course, whereas CD19(-/-) NZB/W mice lacked this CD1d(hi)CD5(+) regulatory B cell subset. However, the transfer of splenic CD1d(hi)CD5(+) B cells from wild type NZB/W mice into CD19(-/-) NZB/W recipients significantly prolonged their survival. Furthermore, regulatory T cells were significantly decreased in CD19(-/-) NZB/W mice, but the transfer of wild type CD1d(hi)CD5(+) B cells induced T regulatory cell expansion in CD19(-/-) NZB/W mice. These results demonstrate an important protective role for regulatory B10 cells in this systemic autoimmune disease.

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