2005 Volume 54 Issue 4 Pages 499-505
Autoimmune diseases as well as type-I allergic diseases have markedly increased in the past 30 years. Environmental estrogens or endocrine disruptors are possibly involved in the etiology of the increase in autoimmune diseases as one of environmental factors. In aged BWF1 mice, a murine model for SLE, B lymphocyte chemoattractant (BLC/CXCL13) is ectopically and highly expressed in target organs such as the thymus and kidney. B1 cells, a specialized cell population that are distinguished from conventional B cells (B2 cells) by their origin, cell surface phenotype, unique tissue distribution, self-reactivity, etc., preferentially migrate towards BLC. Aberrant B1 cell trafficking to the target organs may result in activation of autoreactive CD4 T cells, autoantibody production, and impaired mucosal immunity in the gut during the development of SLE. Interestingly, B1 cells show a higher sensitivity to environmental estrogens than conventional B (B2) cells to produce autoantibodies. Thus, B1 cell can be a useful target for evaluating the pathological significance of environmental estrogens in the development of autoimmune diseases.
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