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1.  Abnormalities of B cell phenotype, immunoglobulin gene expression and the emergence of autoimmunity in Sjögren's syndrome 
Arthritis Research  2002;4(6):360-371.
Primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by specific pathologic features and the production of typical autoantibodies. In addition, characteristic changes in the distribution of peripheral B cell subsets and differences in use of immunoglobulin variable-region genes are also features of pSS. Comparison of B cells from the blood and parotid gland of patients with pSS with those of normal donors suggests that there is a depletion of memory B cells from the peripheral blood and an accumulation or retention of these antigen-experienced B cells in the parotids. Because disordered selection leads to considerable differences in the B cell repertoire in these patients, the delineation of its nature should provide important further clues to the pathogenesis of this autoimmune inflammatory disorder.
PMCID: PMC153845  PMID: 12453312
autoimmunity; B cells; IgV gene usage; lymphocytes; Sjögren's syndrome
2.  Analysis of immunoglobulin light chain rearrangements in the salivary gland and blood of a patient with Sjögren's syndrome 
Arthritis Research  2002;4(4):R4.
Patients with Sjögren's syndrome (SS) have characteristic lymphocytic infiltrates of the salivary glands. To determine whether the B cells accumulating in the salivary glands of SS patients represent a distinct population and to delineate their potential immunopathologic impact, individual B cells obtained from the parotid gland and from the peripheral blood were analyzed for immunglobulin light chain gene rearrangements by PCR amplification of genomic DNA. The productive immunglobulin light chain repertoire in the parotid gland of the SS patient was found to be restricted, showing a preferential usage of particular variable lambda chain genes (Vλ2E) and variable kappa chain genes (VκA27). Moreover, clonally related VL chain rearrangements were identified; namely, VκA27–Jκ5 and VκA19–Jκ2 in the parotid gland, and Vλ1C–Jλ3 in the parotid gland and the peripheral blood. Vκ and Vλ rearrangements from the parotid gland exhibited a significantly elevated mutational frequency compared with those from the peripheral blood (P < 0.001). Mutational analysis revealed a pattern of somatic hypermutation similar to that found in normal donors, and a comparable impact of selection of mutated rearrangements in both the peripheral blood and the parotid gland. These data indicate that there is biased usage of VL chain genes caused by selection and clonal expansion of B cells expressing particular VL genes. In addition, the data document an accumulation of B cells bearing mutated VL gene rearrangements within the parotid gland of the SS patient. These results suggest a role of antigen-activated and selected B cells in the local autoimmune process in SS.
PMCID: PMC125296  PMID: 12106503
B cells; parotid gland; Sjögren's syndrome; somatic mutation; V light chain genes
3.  Perturbations in the impact of mutational activity on Vλ genes in systemic lupus erythematosus 
Arthritis Research  2001;3(6):368-374.
To assess the impact of somatic hypermutation and selective influences on the Vλ light chain repertoire in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the frequency and pattern of mutations were analyzed in individual CD19+ B cells from a patient with previously undiagnosed SLE. The mutational frequency of nonproductive and productive rearrangements in the SLE patient was greater (3.1 × 10-2 vs 3.4 × 10-2, respectively) than that in normal B cells (1.2 × 10-2 vs 2.0 × 10-2, both P < 0.001). The frequencies of mutated rearrangements in both the nonproductive and productive repertoires were significantly higher in the patient with SLE than in normal subjects. Notably, there were no differences in the ratio of replacement to silent (R/S) mutations in the productive and nonproductive repertoires of the SLE patient, whereas the R/S ratio in the framework regions of productive rearrangements of normal subjects was reduced, consistent with active elimination of replacement mutations in this region. The pattern of mutations was abnormal in the SLE patient, with a significant increase in the frequency of G mutations in both the productive and nonproductive repertoires. As in normal subjects, however, mutations were found frequently in specific nucleotide motifs, the RGYW/WRCY sequences, accounting for 34% (nonproductive) and 46% (productive) of all mutations. These data are most consistent with the conclusion that in this SLE patient, the mutational activity was markedly greater than in normal subjects and exhibited some abnormal features. In addition, there was decreased subsequent positive or negative selection of mutations. The enhanced and abnormal mutational activity along with disturbances in selection may play a role in the emergence of autoreactivity in this patient with SLE.
PMCID: PMC64848  PMID: 11714391
autoimmunity; B cells; SLE; somatic hypermutation; V genes
4.  B cells, BAFF/zTNF4, TACI, and systemic lupus erythematosus 
Arthritis Research  2001;3(4):197-199.
B cells and B-cell/T-cell collaborations are instrumental in the pathophysiology of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This commentary highlights in particular the newly discovered role of B-cell-activating factor (BAFF; also known as TALL-1, THANK, BlyS, and zTNF4) as a positive regulator of B-cell functions, such as B-cell activation and differentiation. Two members of the tumor necrosis factor(TNF)-receptor superfamily were recently identified as receptors for BAFF on B cells. The interaction between BAFF and its receptors may be important in the pathogenesis of lupus. Advances in our understanding of abnormalities in immune regulation in lupus might provide the opportunity to improve our current therapeutic approaches to this disorder.
PMCID: PMC128894  PMID: 11438034
BAFF; SLE; TACI; TNF; TNF receptor superfamily

Results 1-4 (4)