Cytokine-producing B lymphocytes-key regulators of immunity

Curr Opin Immunol. 2008 Jun;20(3):332-8. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2008.03.003. Epub 2008 Apr 15.


The successful use of B cell depletion therapy for the treatment of autoimmune disease has led to a resurgent appreciation of B cells as powerful regulators of immunity. However, to the surprise of many, B cells appear to regulate autoimmune conditions independently of their ability to produce autoantibodies. Indeed, disturbances in the ability of B cell subsets to present antigen, produce cytokines, and regulate the activities of T cells is emerging as a key feature in many inflammatory diseases. Here we review the recent literature describing cytokine-producing regulatory and effector B cell subsets in health and disease and discuss how future B cell-directed therapies might target the pathologic cytokine-producing effector B cell subsets without impacting the protective regulatory subsets.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Mice
  • Models, Immunological


  • Cytokines