Innate responses of B cells

Eur J Immunol. 2007 Dec;37(12):3304-10. doi: 10.1002/eji.200737728.


In this review, we describe the non-antibody-mediated functions of B cells within the immune system. In addition to antibody production, B cells also present antigen to T cells, programme T cell differentiation and regulate effector T cell responses and much of this is mediated by the cytokines they make. We focus on the potential of B cells to perform these functions simply as a result of activation via 'innate' receptors (e.g. Toll-like receptors) and often independently of BCR ligation. We feel an appreciation of these broad and often antigen-nonspecific functions is important at a time when there is an increasing use of B cell depletion as a therapy for autoimmune disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / therapy
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Cytokines / physiology
  • Gene Rearrangement, B-Lymphocyte
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocyte Depletion / adverse effects
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • Toll-Like Receptors / immunology


  • Cytokines
  • Toll-Like Receptors