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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
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ISSN Imprimir: 1040-8401
ISSN En Línea: 2162-6472

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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v31.i1.30
pages 31-42

CD5 Expression in B Cells from Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Pierre Youinou
Laboratory of Immunology, European University of Brittany, and Brest University Medical School Hospital
Yves Renaudineau
Laboratory of Immunology, European University of Brittany, and Brest University Medical School Hospital


The recently recognized importance of B cells in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) raises the question as to whether those expressing CD5 predominate over the remaining B lymphocytes in the pathophysiology of this disease. Owing to their B B-cell receptor (BCR) polyspecificity, autoantibody production has been originally ascribed to CD5-positive B1 lymphocytes. Instead, it has since been established that high-affinity autoantibodies derive from CD5-negative B2 cells. Even worse, in the light of current findings, CD5-positive B cells have been considered to play a paradoxical role in preventing, rather than inducing, autoimmunity. In this context, there is evidence that the membrane expression of CD5 is regulated, and, to this end, a genetic mechanism has been described, based on the selection between exon 1A (E1A) and exon 1B (E1B). The full-length protein variant, encoded by E1A-cd5, translocates the phosphatase SHP-1 to the vicinity of the BCR, raises its threshold, and thereby limits the response of autoreactive B cells. In contrast, the truncated variant, encoded by E1B-cd5, remains in the cytoplasm, along with SHP1. Normally, EIB E1B is silenced by methylation and its product degraded in the proteosomes. Hence, a defect in the DNA methyl transfer favors the development of SLE, by preventing the effects of SHP-1.

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