B-lymphocyte effector functions in health and disease
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- DiLillo, D.J., Horikawa, M. & Tedder, T.F. Immunol Res (2011) 49: 281. doi:10.1007/s12026-010-8189-3
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B-lymphocytes have traditionally been thought to contribute to immunity and autoimmune disease through terminal differentiation into plasma cells that secrete antibody. However, studies in mice and recent clinical studies have demonstrated that genetically altered B-cell function and B-cell-targeted therapies can significantly affect autoimmune diseases that were predominantly thought to be T-cell-mediated. B-cell depletion in mouse models of disease has also led to the identification of alternative B-cell effector functions that regulate normal immune responses and autoimmune disease. This review highlights multiple B-cell effector mechanisms, including the promotion of cellular immunity, the negative regulation of immune responses, and the production of pathogenic antibodies.