B cells in autoimmunity
1 Charite Center 12 and 14, Charite University Hospital and DRFZ Berlin, Chariteplatz 01, 10098 Berlin, Germany
2 National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1560, USA
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:247 doi:10.1186/ar2780Published: 14 October 2009
B-cell development is tightly regulated, including the induction of B-cell memory and antibody-secreting plasmablasts and plasma cells. In the last decade, we have expanded our understanding of effector functions of B cells as well as their roles in human autoimmune diseases. The current review addresses the role of certain stages of B-cell development as well as plasmablasts/plasma cells in immune regulation under normal and autoimmune conditions with particular emphasis on systemic lupus erythematosus. Based on preclinical and clinical data, B cells have emerged increasingly as both effector cells as well as cells with immunoregulatory potential.