How bacteria break B cell tolerance
There is a lot of indirect evidence that microbial infections can initiate and/or worsen autoimmune disease. Autoantibody production during infection results from activation of low-affinity autoreactive B cells. But how this could lead to autoimmune disease is not clear.
In a study appearing online on July 21 in advance of print publication of the August 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Thierry Martin and colleagues from INSERM show in vivo that an experimental infectious disease creates the necessary and sufficient conditions to activate self-reactive B cells with significant affinity. This could drive them to mature into harmful memory B cells and lead to autoimmune diseases in susceptible individuals.
Source: Eurekalert & othersLast reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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