Publications Search

Search for publications by author
Search for publications by abstract keyword(s)

Kinetics of human B cell behavior and amplification of proliferative responses following stimulation with IL-21


Although recent studies indicated that IL-21 is an important regulator of human B cell activation, detailed comparison of the effects of IL-21 on distinct B cell subsets have not been performed. Our studies revealed that IL-21R is expressed by naive and germinal center B cells, but not memory or plasma cells. IL-21R was increased on naive and memory B cells following in vitro activation. Investigation into the kinetics and magnitude of responses of human B cells to IL-21 revealed that IL-21 potently augmented proliferation of CD40L-stimulated neonatal, splenic naive, and memory and tonsil germinal center B cells. This response exceeded that induced by IL-4, IL-10, and IL-13, cytokines that also induce B cell proliferation. Remarkably, CD40L/IL-21-stimulated naive B cells underwent the same number of divisions as memory cells and exhibited a greater enhancement in their response compared with CD40L alone than memory B cells. Therefore, IL-21 is a powerful growth factor for naive B cells. This may result from the higher expression of IL-21R on naive, compared with memory, B cells. Stimulation of human B cells with CD40L/IL-21 also induced IL-10 production and activation of STAT3. We propose that IL-21 may have therapeutic application in conditions of immunodeficiency where it could expand naive B cells, the predominant B cell subset in such patients. Conversely, because IL-21 is increased in murine models of lupus, dysregulated IL-21 production may contribute to perturbed B cell homeostasis observed in systemic lupus erythematosus. Thus, antagonizing IL-21 may be a novel strategy for treating Ab-mediated autoimmune diseases.

Type Journal
ISBN 0022-1767 (Print)
Authors Good, K. L.;Bryant, V. L.;Tangye, S. G. :
Published Date 2006-01-01
Published Volume 177
Published Issue 8
Published Pages 5236-47
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version