Article

Increased Frequency of Pre-germinal Center B Cells and Plasma Cell Precursors in the Blood of Children with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, Dallas, TX 75204, USA.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 5.36). 09/2001; 167(4):2361-9. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.167.4.2361
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We have analyzed the blood B cell subpopulations of children with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and healthy controls. We found that the normal recirculating mature B cell pool is composed of four subsets: conventional naive and memory B cells, a novel B cell subset with pregerminal center phenotype (IgD(+)CD38(+)centerin(+)), and a plasma cell precursor subset (CD20(-)CD19(+/low)CD27(+/++) CD38(++)). In SLE patients, naive and memory B cells (CD20(+)CD38(-)) are approximately 90% reduced, whereas oligoclonal plasma cell precursors are 3-fold expanded, independently of disease activity and modality of therapy. Pregerminal center cells in SLE are decreased to a lesser extent than conventional B cells, and therefore represent the predominant blood B cell subset in a number of patients. Thus, SLE is associated with major blood B cell subset alterations.

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