B cell tolerance in health and disease

Murali Gururajan, Vishal J. Sindhava, Subbarao Bondada

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


B lymphocyte receptors are generated randomly during the bone marrow developmental phase of B cells. Hence, the B cell repertoire consists of both self and foreign antigen specificities necessitating specific tolerance mechanisms to eliminate selfreactive B cells. This review summarizes the major mechanisms of B cell tolerance, which include clonal deletion, anergy and receptor editing. In the bone marrow presentation of antigen in membrane bound form is more effective than soluble form and the role of dendritic cells in this process is discussed. Toll like receptor derived signals affect activation of B cells by certain ligands such as nucleic acids and have been shown to play crucial roles in the development of autoimmunity in several animal models. In the periphery availability of BAFF, a B cell survival factor plays a critical role in the survival of self-reactive B cells. Antibodies against BAFF have been found to be effective therapeutic agents in lupus like autoimmune diseases. Recent developments are targeting anergy to control the growth of chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-129
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 19 2014


  • Autoimmunity
  • B cells
  • B-1 B cells
  • Tolerance
  • Toll-like receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Drug Discovery


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