Increased frequency of pre-germinal center b cells and plasma cell precursors in the blood of children with systemic lupus erythematosus

E. Arce, D. G. Jackson, M. A. Gill, L. B. Bennett, J. Banchereau, V. Pascual

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We have analyzed the blood B cell subpopulations of children with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and healthy controls. We found that the normal recirculating mature B cell pool is composed of four subsets: conventional naive and memory B cells, a novel B cell subset with pregerminal center phenotype (IgD+ CD38+ centerin+), and a plasma cell precursor subset (CD20-CD19+/lowCD27+/++CD38++). In SLE patients, naive and memory B cells (CD20+CD38-) are ∼90% reduced, whereas oligoclonal plasma cell precursors are 3-fold expanded, independently of disease activity and modality of therapy. Pregerminal center cells in SLE are decreased to a lesser extent than conventional B cells, and therefore represent the predominant blood B cell subset in a number of patients. Thus, SLE is associated with major blood B cell subset alterations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2361-2369
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2001


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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