Cracking the BAFF code

ArticleinNature Reviews Immunology 9(7):491-502 · August 2009with39 Reads
DOI: 10.1038/nri2572 · Source: PubMed
The tumour necrosis factor (TNF) family members B cell activating factor (BAFF) and APRIL (a proliferation-inducing ligand) are crucial survival factors for peripheral B cells. An excess of BAFF leads to the development of autoimmune disorders in animal models, and high levels of BAFF have been detected in the serum of patients with various autoimmune conditions. In this Review, we consider the possibility that in mice autoimmunity induced by BAFF is linked to T cell-independent B cell activation rather than to a severe breakdown of B cell tolerance. We also outline the mechanisms of BAFF signalling, the impact of ligand oligomerization on receptor activation and the progress of BAFF-depleting agents in the clinical setting.
    • "Regulation of B-cell homeostasis involves two members of the TNF-alpha family: B-cell Activating Factor (BAFF) and A proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL, TNFSF13, TRDL-1, TNF-related death ligand-1), which share two receptors (B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) and transmembrane activator and calcium-modulator and cyclophilin ligand interactor (TACI). A third receptor, the BAFF receptor, only binds to BAFF [19]. BAFF and APRIL are key regulators of the immune response and are produced by myeloid leukocytes , lymphocytes and epithelial cells [20][21][22][23][24][25]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is characterized by an excessive activation of the adaptive immune system and, in particular, uncontrolled expansion of the B-cell pool. One of the key promoters of B cell expansion is A PRoliferation-Inducing Ligand (APRIL). APRIL has been strongly linked to non small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) onset and progression previously. However, little is known about the expression of APRIL in the lungs of COPD patients. Methods Using immuno-fluorescence staining, the expression of APRIL was assessed in sections of lungs from 4 subjects with primary diagnosis of COPD (FEV1 33 ± 20 % predicted), 4 subjects with primary diagnosis of NSCLC, 4 subjects diagnosed with both COPD and NSCLC, smokers without COPD or NSCLC and 3 healthy never-smokers. The percentage of B cells, alveolar macrophages (AMs) and polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) in the lung and alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) that stained positively for APRIL was quantified using epi-fluorescence microscopy and image analysis software. Results The percentage of APRIL-expressing B cells, AMs, PMNs and alveolar epithelial cells (AECs) was higher in patients having both COPD and NSCLC than in patients with either COPD or NSCLC alone, SC or NSC (p < 0.03 for all comparisons). The percentage of APRIL-expressing AMs and AECs (but not in B cells) was higher in patients with NSCLC alone than in patients with COPD alone. The percentage of APRIL-expressing AECs (but not B cells or AMs) was higher in COPD patients than in SC and NSC (p < 0.05 for all comparisons). The percentage of APRIL-expressing B cells, AMs and AECs cells was similar in NSC and SC. Conclusion The percentage of APRIL-expressing B cells, AMs and AECs is higher in the lungs of patients with both COPD and NSCLC than in patients with COPD or NSCLC alone or control subjects. These findings suggest that APRIL may contribute to the pathogenesis of both COPD and NSCLC, and possibly to the development of NSCLC in patients with established COPD.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2016
    • "Therefore , the monitoring of cytokines or chemokines associated with B cell activation or survival has been proposed as an important strategy to predict allograft outcome [1,2]. B-cell activating factor (BAFF) is a cytokine belonging to the tumor necrosis factor family that plays a role in the survival, proliferation and differentiation of B-cells [4,5]. Several studies have already demonstrated the correlation of elevated BAFF levels with chronic graft versus host disease [6] and autoimmune disease such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sjogren disease, and rheumatoid arthritis [7,8]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is well known that pre-transplant B cell activating factor (BAFF) levels are associated with the development of de novo anti-HLA antibodies and antibody mediated rejection post-transplant. However, the clinical significance of BAFF values at allograft rejection has not been determined. In this study, we investigated the clinical significance of pre-transplant BAFF level as well as post-transplant BAFF levels measured when indication biopsy was done. We checked for anti-HLA antibodies in 115 kidney transplant recipients who required allograft biopsy due to an increase in serum creatinine. With the same serum specimen, we measured BAFF levels, and in 78 of these patients, pre-transplant BAFF and anti-HLA antibody levels were detected as well. Patients in each group were divided into tertiles according to BAFF levels. We investigated the relationship between BAFF levels and the occurrence of anti-HLA antibodies. Pre-transplant BAFF levels showed significant association with pre-transplant sensitization, and also with early rejection (Tertile 3, 26.9% vs. Tertile 1, 11.5%; P<0.05). Post-transplant BAFF levels showed significant association with pre-transplant sensitization, but did not show association with anti-HLA antibodies and positive donor-specific antibodies at the time of biopsy. We did not find any association between post-transplant BAFF levels and allograft biopsy results, Banff scores and microvascular inflammation scores. In conclusion, pre-transplant BAFF levels are associated with pre-transplant sensitization and are useful in predicting allograft rejection. But post-transplant BAFF levels measured at the time of indication biopsy are not associated with the appearance of de novo HLA-DSA, allograft rejection, biopsy findings and other allograft outcomes.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2016
    • "High BAFF levels during B-cell maturation promote survival at the expense of B-cell tolerance and may thus lead to the survival of low affinity self-reactive B-cells. Increased BAFF serum levels have been reported in autoimmune diseases, allergic asthma and lymphoid malignancy [19,22]. The cytokines BAFF and APRIL, acting as proliferation factors for B-lymphocytes regulating maturation and cell numbers [23], were analysed through follow-up. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myalgic Encephalopathy/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a disease of unknown etiology. We have previously suggested clinical benefit from B-cell depletion using the monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody rituximab in a randomized and placebo-controlled study. Prolonged responses were then demonstrated in an open-label phase-II study with maintenance rituximab treatment. Using blood samples from patients in the previous two clinical trials, we investigated quantitative changes in T-lymphocyte subsets, in immunoglobulins, and in serum levels of two B-cell regulating cytokines during follow-up. B-lymphocyte activating factor of the tumor necrosis family (BAFF) in baseline serum samples was elevated in 70 ME/CFS patients as compared to 56 healthy controls (p = 0.011). There were no significant differences in baseline serum BAFF levels between patients with mild, moderate, or severe ME/CFS, or between responders and non-responders to rituximab. A proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) serum levels were not significantly different in ME/CFS patients compared to healthy controls at baseline, and no changes in serum levels were seen during follow-up. Immunophenotyping of peripheral blood T-lymphocyte subsets and T-cell activation markers at multiple time points during follow-up showed no significant differences over time, between rituximab and placebo groups, or between responders and non-responders to rituximab. Baseline serum IgG levels were significantly lower in patients with subsequent response after rituximab therapy compared to non-responders (p = 0.03). In the maintenance study, slight but significant reductions in mean serum immunoglobulin levels were observed at 24 months compared to baseline; IgG 10.6-9.5 g/L, IgA 1.8-1.5 g/L, and IgM 0.97-0.70 g/L. Although no functional assays were performed, the lack of significant associations of T- and NK-cell subset numbers with B-cell depletion, as well as the lack of associations to clinical responses, suggest that B-cell regulatory effects on T-cell or NK-cell subsets are not the main mechanisms for the observed improvements in ME/CFS symptoms observed in the two previous trials. The modest increase in serum BAFF levels at baseline may indicate an activated B-lymphocyte system in a subgroup of ME/CFS patients.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2016
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