Current Diabetes Reports

, 14:543 | Cite as

Role of B Lymphocytes in the Pathogenesis of Type 1 Diabetes

  • Rochelle M. Hinman
  • John C. Cambier
Pathogenesis of Type 1 Diabetes (A Pugliese, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Pathogenesis of Type 1 Diabetes


Though type 1 diabetes (T1D) is considered a T cell-mediated autoimmune disorder, recent evidence indicates that B cells play a critical role in disease. This conclusion is based in part on the success of anti-CD20 (rituximab) therapy, which by broadly depleting B cells delays disease progression in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice and new-onset patients. B cell receptor (BCR) specificity to islet autoantigen is key. NOD mice whose B cell repertoire is biased toward insulin reactivity show increased disease development, while bias away from insulin reactivity largely prevents disease. Although the operative disease-promoting B cell effector function remains undefined, islet-antigen reactive B cells function in antigen presentation to diabetogenic CD4 T cells. Other studies implicate B cells in antigen presentation to CD8 T cells. B cell participation in TID appears predicated on faulty B cell tolerance. Here, we review extant findings implicating B cells in T1D in mice and men.


Immune pathology B lymphocyte Antigen presentation 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Rochelle M. Hinman and John C. Cambier declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Immunology and MicrobiologyUniversity of Colorado School of MedicineAuroraUSA

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