Yonsei medical journal

Regulatory B cells are inversely associated with disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis.

PMID 25048496


The function of regulatory B lymphocytes is known to be abnormal in inflammatory diseases. However, a recent study indicates that IL-10+ B cells seem to be expanded in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Therefore, the state of IL-10+ B cells in the peripheral blood from RA patients and healthy controls were investigated. CD19+ cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were purified from blood samples of RA patients and age and gender-matched healthy controls, and stimulated with CD40 ligand and CpG for 48 hours. Then, intracellular IL-10 in CD19+ cells was analyzed using flow cytometry. There was no significant difference in the proportion of IL-10+ B cells between 10 RA patients and 10 healthy controls (RA, 0.300±0.07 vs. healthy control 0.459±0.07, p=0.114). The proportion of induced IL-10+ B cells to total B cells in RA patients was significantly higher than those in controls (RA, 4.44±3.44% vs. healthy control 2.44±1.64%, p=0.033). However, the proportion of IL-10+ B cells to total B cells correlated negatively with disease activity in RA patients (r=-0.398, p=0.040). Erythrocyte sedimentation rate or C-reactive protein or medication was not associated with the proportion of IL-10+ B cells. The proportion of induced IL-10+ B cell increased in RA patients compared to healthy control, however, negatively correlated with disease activity in RA.