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Annu Rev Immunol. 2012;30:221-41. doi: 10.1146/annurev-immunol-020711-074934. Epub 2012 Jan 3.

Immune regulatory function of B cells.

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Center for Rheumatology Research, Division of Medicine, University College London, London WC1E 6JF, United Kingdom.


B cells are regarded for their capacity to produce antibody. However, recent advances in B cell biology have capitalized on old findings and demonstrated that B cells also release a broad variety of cytokines. As with T helper cells, B cells can be classified into subsets according to the cytokine milieu that they produce. One functional B cell subset, regulatory B cells (Bregs), has recently been shown to contribute to the maintenance of the fine equilibrium required for tolerance. Bregs restrain the excessive inflammatory responses that occur during autoimmune diseases or that can be caused by unresolved infections. Pivotal to Breg function is interleukin-10 (IL-10), which inhibits proinflammatory cytokines and supports regulatory T cell differentiation. This review reports and discusses the factors that are important for Breg differentiation and for their effector function in both mouse and human.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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