The role of B cells in lupus pathogenesis

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2010 Apr;42(4):543-50. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2009.10.011. Epub 2009 Oct 20.


Autoantibodies clearly contribute to tissue inflammation in systemic lupus erythematosus. In order to therapeutically target B cells making pathogenic autoantibodies, it is necessary to identify their phenotype. It is also important to understand the defects in B cell repertoire selection that permit pathogenic autoreactive B cells to enter the immunocompetent B cell repertoire. We present the data that both marginal zone and follicular B cells can produce pathogenic autoantibodies. Moreover, we discuss how B cell survival and maturation are regulated centrally prior to antigen activation and in the periphery after antigen activation to form the repertoire that generates the spectrum of circulating antibodies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • B-Cell Activating Factor / metabolism
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism*
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / pathology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • B-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Estrogens / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / pathology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*
  • Toll-Like Receptors / metabolism


  • Autoantibodies
  • B-Cell Activating Factor
  • Estrogens
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell
  • TNFSF13B protein, human
  • Toll-Like Receptors