Multiple paths to loss of anergy and gain of autoimmunity
ABSTRACT B cells and autoimmunity: cells of the immune system have the capacity to recognize/neutralize a myriad array of disease-causing pathogens, while simultaneously minimizing damage to self tissue. Obvious breakdowns in this ability to distinguish between self and non-self are evident in multiple forms of autoimmune disease, where B and T cells mount damaging attacks on cells and organs. B cells may directly damage tissue by producing pathogenic antibodies that bind self antigen, fix complement or form immune complexes. Recent evidence also suggests B cells indirectly induce autoimmunity by concentrating low avidity self antigen through the B cell receptor and presenting self-peptides to autoreactive T cells. B cells may also initiate autoimmunity when provided sufficient help from autoreactive T cells that have escaped deletion in the thymus. Here, we will review the role of anergy in maintenance of tolerance and how alterations in the normal balance of positive and negative signals may contribute to the development of autoimmune disease in mouse models and humans.
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ABSTRACT: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a connective disease characterized by features of autoimmunity, vasculopathy, inflammation, and fibrosis. The disease typically starts with Raynaud's phenomenon, followed by skin thickening in the extremities due to inflammation and fibrosis. Fibrosis results from excessive collagen production by fibroblasts, which constitutes the final common pathway of complex cellular interactions including B cells. Several studies have indicated that B cells may play a role in SSc. Lesional skin infiltrates from SSc patients consist of a variety of cells, including eosinophils, neutrophils, lymphocytes, plasma cells, and macrophages. Autoantibodies of several specificities are present in the serum of SSc patients of which antitopoisomerase 1 is the most common, and evidence has been gathered for a potential pathogenic role of some autoantibodies, eg, anti-PDGF antibodies. The blood of SSc patients contains an increased proportion of naïve B cells but a decreased proportion of memory B cells. Furthermore, serum levels of interleukin-6, an important pro-inflammatory cytokine, have been shown to correlate with skin fibrosis. Animal models of SSc have provided more in-depth information on the role of B lymphocytes, eg, through disruption of B cell function. In this review we will discuss the evidence that B cells are involved in the pathogenesis of SSc.Targets & therapy 10/2008; 2(3):389-95. DOI:10.2147/BTT.S2806
- Free Radical Biology and Medicine 11/2011; 51. DOI:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2011.10.282 · 5.71 Impact Factor