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Front Immunol. 2018 Apr 23;9:835. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.00835. eCollection 2018.

Targeting B Cells and Plasma Cells in Autoimmune Diseases.

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Institute for Systemic Inflammation Research, University of Luebeck, Luebeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.


Success with B cell depletion using rituximab has proven the concept that B lineage cells represent a valid target for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, and has promoted the development of other B cell targeting agents. Present data confirm that B cell depletion is beneficial in various autoimmune disorders and also show that it can worsen the disease course in some patients. These findings suggest that B lineage cells not only produce pathogenic autoantibodies, but also significantly contribute to the regulation of inflammation. In this review, we will discuss the multiple pro- and anti-inflammatory roles of B lineage cells play in autoimmune diseases, in the context of recent findings using B lineage targeting therapies.


B cells; IL-10+ B cell; autoantibodies; autoimmune disease; bortezomib; rheumatoid arthritis; rituximab

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