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Autologous regulatory B (Breg) cell therapy for autoimmune diseases

Cell culture and mouse studies suggest Breg cells cultured ex vivo could be useful for treating autoimmune diseases. In cell culture, spleen-derived B cells stimulated with IL-21 and cocultured with T cells expressing CD40 ligand (CD40LG; CD40L; CD154) showed extensive proliferation and produced high levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10, a marker of Breg cells. In a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS), reinfusion of ex vivo-expanded Breg cells decreased disease severity compared with vehicle infusion. Next steps include isolating and expanding human Breg cells (see Breg-ging rights, page 8).

SciBX 5(42); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1123
Published online Oct. 25, 2012

Patent pending; available for licensing

Yoshizaki, A. et al. Nature; published online Oct. 14, 2012;
Contact: Thomas Tedder, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, N.C.