Killer B lymphocytes: the evidence and the potential
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- Lundy, S.K. Inflamm. Res. (2009) 58: 345. doi:10.1007/s00011-009-0014-x
Immune regulation plays a critical role in controlling potentially dangerous inflammation and maintaining health. The Fas ligand/Fas receptor axis has been studied extensively as a mechanism of killing T cells and other cells during infections, autoimmunity, and cancer. FasL expression has been primarily attributed to activated T cells and NK cells. Evidence has emerged that B lymphocytes can express FasL and other death-inducing ligands, and can mediate cell death under many circumstances. Among B cell subsets, the expression of both Fas ligand and IL-10 is highest on the CD5+ B cell population, suggesting that CD5+ B cells may have a specialized regulatory function. The relevance of killer B cells to normal immune regulation, disease pathogenesis, and inflammation is discussed.