B-cell targeting in rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases

Nat Rev Immunol. 2006 May;6(5):394-403. doi: 10.1038/nri1838.


B-cell-targeted therapy for autoimmune disease emerged from theoretical proposition to practical reality between 1997 and 1998, with the availability of the B-cell-depleting monoclonal antibody rituximab. Since then, a score of autoantibody-associated disorders have been treated, with most convincing evidence of efficacy seen in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis. Several classes of B-cell-targeted agent are now under investigation. From the outset, a major goal of B-cell targeting has been the re-establishment of some form of immunological tolerance. In some subjects, the observed improvement of disease for years following therapy fuels hope that this goal might ultimately be achievable.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / drug therapy
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Humans