Antibody-independent functions of B cells: a focus on cytokines

Nat Rev Immunol. 2015 Jul;15(7):441-51. doi: 10.1038/nri3857. Epub 2015 Jun 12.


Cytokine production by B cells is important for multiple aspects of immunity. B cell-derived cytokines, including lymphotoxin, are essential for the ontogenesis, homeostasis and activation of secondary lymphoid organs, as well as for the development of tertiary lymphoid tissues at ectopic sites. Other B cell-derived cytokines, such as interleukin-6 (IL-6), interferon-γ and tumour necrosis factor, influence the development of effector and memory CD4(+) T cell responses. Finally, B cells can regulate inflammatory immune responses, primarily through their provision of IL-10 and IL-35. This Review summarizes these various roles of cytokine-producing B cells in immunity and discusses the rational for targeting these cells in the clinic.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immune System / immunology
  • Immunity / immunology


  • Cytokines