European journal of immunology

B-cell inhibition by cross-linking CD79b is superior to B-cell depletion with anti-CD20 antibodies in treating murine collagen-induced arthritis.

PMID 25471597


Depletion of B cells with the anti-CD20 antibody rituximab is an established therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. However, rituximab has only moderate efficacy, most likely due to insufficient depletion of B cells in lymphoid organs and expansion of pathogenic B cells. We found that an antibody against mouse CD79b profoundly blocks B-cell proliferation induced via the B-cell receptor, CD40, CD180, and chondroitin sulfate, but not via TLR4 or TLR9. Treatment with anti-CD79b also induces death in resting and activated B cells. B-cell inhibition is mediated by cross-linkage of CD79b, but independent of Fc-receptor engagement. In the model of collagen-induced arthritis, an antibody against mouse CD20 depletes B cells very efficiently but fails to suppress the humoral immune response against collagen and the development of arthritis. In contrast, the antibody against CD79b, and a deglycosylated variant of this antibody, almost completely inhibits the increase in anti-collagen antibodies and the development of arthritis. In mice with established arthritis only the fully glycosylated antibody against CD79b is effective. Our data show that targeting B cells via CD79b is much more effective than B-cell depletion with anti-CD20 antibodies for therapy of arthritis. These findings may have important implications for treatment of B-cell-mediated autoimmune diseases.

Related Materials