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Immunol Res. 2013 Dec;57(1-3):335-53. doi: 10.1007/s12026-013-8466-z.

B-lymphocyte tolerance and effector function in immunity and autoimmunity.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL, 33136, USA,


B-lymphocytes are integral to host defense against microbial pathogens and are associated with many autoimmune diseases. The B-cell receptor implements B-cell self-tolerance based on the antigen specificity, and B-cell-activating factor receptor (BAFF-R) imposes homeostatic control. While shaping the repertoire, the immune tolerance process also culls mature B cells into distinct populations. The activation response of B cells is tailored to the type of pathogen attack and is facilitated by T-cell help via CD40/CD40L interaction and/or innate cell help via toll-like receptors in conjunction with BAFF receptors and ligands. Activated effector B cells not only produce antibodies, but also produce a variety of cytokines to enhance and suppress the immune response. Not surprisingly, B cells play multiple roles in both humoral and cellular immune responses during infection and autoimmune pathogenesis. Here, we discuss how gene expression and signaling networks regulate peripheral B-cell tolerance, B-cell effector functions and emerging therapies targeting B-cell signaling in autoimmune diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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