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Review_Advances in Immunology_GC_31 Jan_CV.pdf (661.01 kB)

Germinal center versus extrafollicular responses in systemic autoimmunity: Who turns the blade on self?

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-13, 11:04 authored by Yuke He, Carola G Vinuesa
Spontaneously formed germinal centers (GCs) have been reported in most mouse models of human autoimmune disease and autoimmune patients, and have long been considered a source of somatically-mutated and thus high affinity autoantibodies, but their role in autoimmunity is becoming increasingly controversial, particularly in the context of systemic autoimmune diseases like lupus. On the one hand, there is good evidence that some pathogenic lupus antibodies have acquired somatic mutations that increase affinity for self-antigens. On the other hand, recent studies that have genetically prevented GC formation, suggest that GCs are dispensable for systemic autoimmunity, pointing instead to pathogenic extrafollicular (EF) B-cell responses. Furthermore, several lines of evidence suggest germinal centers may in fact be somewhat protective in the context of autoimmunity. Here we review how some of the conflicting evidence arose, and current views on the role of GCs in autoimmunity, outlining mechanisms by which GC may eliminate self-reactivity. We also discuss recent advances in understanding extrafollicular B cell subsets that participate in autoimmunity.


Crick (Grant ID: CC2228, Grant title: Vinuesa CC2228)


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