Confounding B-cell defences: lessons from a staphylococcal superantigen

Nat Rev Immunol. 2006 Jun;6(6):465-75. doi: 10.1038/nri1853.


Studies of microbial superantigens that target large clonal sets of B cells through conserved antigen-receptor-variable-region sites are providing new insights into the mechanisms of B-cell activation-induced cell death. These investigations have shown differences between the clonal regulation of follicular B cells (B2 cells) and the innate-like marginal-zone B cells and B1 cells, and have also shown how B-cell superantigens can affect specialized host defences against infection. Agents designed to emulate the properties of B-cell superantigens might also provide new approaches for the treatment of B-cell-mediated autoimmune and neoplastic diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • B-Lymphocytes / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular*
  • Staphylococcal Protein A / chemistry
  • Staphylococcal Protein A / immunology
  • Superantigens / chemistry
  • Superantigens / physiology*


  • Staphylococcal Protein A
  • Superantigens