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Int J Rheumatol. 2013;2013:954292. doi: 10.1155/2013/954292. Epub 2013 Jun 12.

The Characteristics and Significance of Locally Infiltrating B Cells in Lupus Nephritis and Their Association with Local BAFF Expression.

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Department of Rheumatology, Renji Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, 145 Shan Dong Zhong Road, Shanghai 200001, China ; Department of Rheumatology, First Affiliated Hospital of Medical School, Zhejiang University, 79 Qingchun Road, Hangzhou 310003, China.


Introduction. Dysfunction of the B lymphocyte is considered to be involved in the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis (LN). Intrarenal B cells have been found in several forms of inflammatory kidney disease. B-cell activating factor (BAFF) regulates B lymphocyte proliferation and survival, and contributes to human autoimmune disease. Their role in renal inflammation is not well defined. Methods. Clinical parameters and renal biopsies from 62 LN patients were prospectively analyzed. We performed standard immunohistochemistry on serial paraffin tissue sections using monoclonal antibodies to CD20 and BAFF to investigate the characteristics and significance of locally infiltrating B cells and local BAFF expression in patients with LN. Results. Intrarenal B cells and/or BAFF were mainly distributed in the renal interstitium. Compared to the LN-non-B-cell/BAFF expression group, proteinuria (g/24 hour), blood urea nitrogen, serum creatinine levels, LN renal activity, and chronicity indices, were all significantly greater in the LN-B-cell/BAFF expression groups. The expression of BAFF was strongly associated with the quantity of B-cell infiltrate in the interstitium. Conclusion. As BAFF expression was strongly associated with B-cell infiltration, we hypothesize that altered B-cell differentiation and tolerance induced by excess BAFF may be central to the pathogenesis of LN.

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