B cells as under-appreciated mediators of non-auto-immune inflammatory disease

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


B lymphocytes play roles in many auto-immune diseases characterized by unresolved inflammation, and B cell ablation is proving to be a relatively safe, effective treatment for such diseases. B cells function, in part, as important sources of regulatory cytokines in auto-immune disease, but B cell cytokines also play roles in other non-auto-immune inflammatory diseases. B cell ablation may therefore benefit inflammatory disease patients in addition to its demonstrated efficacy in auto-immune disease. Current ablation drugs clear both pro- and anti-inflammatory B cell subsets, which may unexpectedly exacerbate some pathologies. This possibility argues that a more thorough understanding of B cell function in human inflammatory disease is required to safely harness the clinical promise of B cell ablation. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and periodontal disease (PD) are two inflammatory diseases characterized by little autoimmunity. These diseases are linked by coincident presentation and alterations in toll-like receptor (TLR)-dependent B cell cytokine production, which may identify B cell ablation as a new therapy for co-affected individuals. Further analysis of the role B cells and B cell cytokines play in T2D, PD and other inflammatory diseases is required to justify testing B cell depletion therapies on a broader range of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-242
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Chronic inflammation
  • Cytokines
  • Human B cells
  • Periodontal disease
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
  • Hematology
  • Molecular Biology


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