The BLyS family of ligands and receptors: an archetype for niche-specific homeostatic regulation

Immunol Rev. 2004 Dec;202:237-49. doi: 10.1111/j.0105-2896.2004.00212.x.


Discovery and characterization of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family member B-lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) has opened a novel chapter in the role of TNF family members in the homeostatic control of lymphocyte populations. BLyS and its sister cytokine APRIL (a proliferation-inducing ligand) act primarily as soluble trimers and serve to regulate the steady-state numbers of nearly all B-cell compartments. This homeostatic regulation is accomplished through the regulation of B-cell production rates, selection thresholds, and lifespan. Differential expression of the three BLyS receptors during differentiation and activation provides related yet distinct homeostatic niches for follicular, marginal zone, and memory B-cell subsets.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • B-Cell Activating Factor
  • B-Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Homeostasis / genetics
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Multigene Family
  • Nuclear Proteins / physiology
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / genetics
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / physiology*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / physiology*


  • ANP32B protein, human
  • B-Cell Activating Factor
  • BLyS receptor
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • TNFSF13B protein, human
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha