B Cells and Microbiota in Autoimmunity
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Trillions of microorganisms inhabit the mucosal membranes maintaining a symbiotic relationship with the host's immune system. B cells are key players in this relationship because activated and differentiated B cells produce secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), which binds commensals to preserve a healthy microbial ecosystem. Mounting evidence shows that changes in the function and composition of the gut microbiota are associated with several autoimmune diseases suggesting that an imbalanced or
... an imbalanced or dysbiotic microbiota contributes to autoimmune inflammation. Bacteria within the gut mucosa may modulate autoimmune inflammation through different mechanisms from commensals ability to induce B-cell clones that cross-react with host antigens or through regulation of B-cell subsets' capacity to produce cytokines. Commensal signals in the gut instigate the differentiation of IL-10 producing B cells and IL-10 producing IgA+ plasma cells that recirculate and exert regulatory functions. While the origin of the dysbiosis in autoimmunity is unclear, compelling evidence shows that specific species have a remarkable influence in shaping the inflammatory immune response. Further insight is necessary to dissect the complex interaction between microorganisms, genes, and the immune system. In this review, we will discuss the bidirectional interaction between commensals and B-cell responses in the context of autoimmune inflammation.