Involvement of B cells in non-infectious uveitis
Smith, Justine R
Bharadwaj, A S
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Non-infectious uveitis—or intraocular inflammatory disease—causes substantial visual morbidity and reduced quality of life amongst affected individuals. To date, research of pathogenic mechanisms has largely been focused on processes involving T lymphocyte and/or myeloid leukocyte populations. Involvement of B lymphocytes has received relatively little attention. In contrast, B-cell pathobiology is a major field within general immunological research, and large clinical trials have showed that treatments targeting B cells are highly effective for multiple systemic inflammatory diseases. B cells, including the terminally differentiated plasma cell that produces antibody, are found in the human eye in different forms of non-infectious uveitis; in some cases, these cells outnumber other leukocyte subsets. Recent case reports and small case series suggest that B-cell blockade may be therapeutic for patients with non-infectious uveitis. As well as secretion of antibody, B cells may promote intraocular inflammation by presentation of antigen to T cells, production of multiple inflammatory cytokines and support of T-cell survival. B cells may also perform various immunomodulatory activities within the eye. This translational review summarizes the evidence for B-cell involvement in non-infectious uveitis, and considers the potential contributions of B cells to the development and control of the disease. Manipulations of B cells and/or their products are promising new approaches to the treatment of non-infectious uveitis.
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