The expanding family of regulatory B cells

Int Immunol. 2015 Oct;27(10):479-86. doi: 10.1093/intimm/dxv038. Epub 2015 Jun 12.


Over the last decade it has become evident that in addition to producing antibody, B cells activate the immune system by producing cytokines and via antigen presentation. In addition, B cells also exhibit immunosuppressive functions via diverse regulatory mechanisms. This subset of B cells, known as regulatory B cells (Bregs), contributes to the maintenance of tolerance, primarily via the production of IL-10. Studies in experimental animal models, as well as in patients with autoimmune diseases, have identified multiple Breg subsets exhibiting diverse mechanisms of immune suppression. In this review, we describe the different Breg subsets identified in mice and humans, and their diverse mechanisms of suppression in different disease settings.

Keywords: B cell; Bregs; IL-10; human; immune-suppression; mouse; regulation; regulatory B cells; subsets.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation*
  • Antigens, CD / genetics
  • Antigens, CD / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / genetics
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / pathology
  • B-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / pathology
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Lineage / immunology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunity, Humoral*
  • Interleukin-10 / genetics
  • Interleukin-10 / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / pathology


  • Antigens, CD
  • IL10 protein, human
  • Interleukin-10