B cell-directed therapies in type 1 diabetes

Trends Immunol. 2011 Jun;32(6):287-94. doi: 10.1016/j.it.2011.03.006. Epub 2011 Apr 29.


B cells play a pathogenic role as antigen-presenting cells and autoantibody secretors in the lead up to T cell-mediated autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing β cells in type 1 diabetes (T1D). This has led to significant interest in the use of B cell depletion therapies as a treatment for T1D. In this review, we compare results from five recent studies that used distinct B cell-depleting agents and protocols to successfully prevent and even reverse T1D in the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse model. We discuss how information gained from animal studies could be used to improve on the positive outcomes of a completed phase II clinical trial of the B cell-depleting drug rituximab in humans with recent-onset T1D.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived / therapeutic use
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Rituximab


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Rituximab