Hydroxychloroquine is widely used for autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. Although B cells contribute to the pathogenesis of these diseases, the action of hydroxychloroquine on B cells remains unclear. Here we examined the effects of hydroxychloroquine on functions of B cell subsets. Hydroxychloroquine efficiently inhibited the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1, differentiation of CD19+IgD-CD27+ class-switched memory B cells to plasmablasts and their IgG production, under stimulation with CpG, a Toll-like receptor (TLR)-9 ligand. Hydroxychloroquine also inhibited CpG-induced production of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α in B cell subsets. Taken together, hydroxychloroquine markedly suppresses the TLR9-mediated human B cell functions during inflammatory processes. Based on our results, we believe that hydroxychloroquine can be beneficial in the treatment of B cell-mediated autoimmune diseases.
Keywords: Human B cell; Hydroxychloroquine; Plasmablast; Toll-like receptor 9.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.