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Clin Exp Immunol. 2012 Jan;167(1):7-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2011.04460.x.

Translational Mini-Review Series on B cell subsets in disease. Transitional B cells in systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjögren's syndrome: clinical implications and effects of B cell-targeted therapies.

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Centre for Immunology and Infectious Disease, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Blizard Institute, London, UK.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Sjögren's syndrome are autoimmune disorders which are characterized by a disturbed B cell homeostasis which leads ultimately to dysfunction of various organs. One of the B cell subsets that appear in abnormal numbers is the population of transitional B cells, which is increased in the blood of patients with SLE and Sjögren's syndrome. Transitional B cells are newly formed B cells. In mice, transitional B cells undergo selection checks for unwanted specificity in the bone marrow and the spleen in order to eliminate autoreactive B cells from the circulating naive B cell population. In humans, the exact anatomical compartments and mechanisms of the specificity check-points for transitional B cells remain unclear, but appear to be defective in SLE and Sjögren's syndrome. This review aims to highlight the current understanding of transitional B cells and their defects in the two disorders before and after B cell-targeted therapies.

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