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

Authors


A. Vossenkämper, Centre for Immunology and Infectious Disease, Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London E1 2AT, UK. E-mail: a.vossenkaemper@qmul.ac.uk

Summary

OTHER ARTICLES PUBLISHED IN THIS MINI-REVIEW SERIES ON B CELL SUBSETS IN DISEASE

B cells in multiple sclerosis: drivers of disease pathogenesis and Trojan horse for Epstein—Barr virus entry to the central nervous system? Clinical and Experimental Immunology 2012, 167: 1–6. Reconstitution after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation – revelation of B cell developmental pathways and lineage phenotypes. Clinical and Experimental Immunology 2012, 167: 15–25.

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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