Date of this Version
Xu D, Staedman A, Zhang L (2013) CD20 Antibody Primes B Lymphocytes for Type I Interferon Production. PLoS ONE 8(6): e67900. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067900
CD20 is a B cell surface marker that is expressed in various stages in B lymphocytes and certain lymphomas. Clinical administration of CD20 antibody, such as rituximab, is used widely to treat human B-cell lymphomas and other diseases. However, CD20 antibody failed to treat systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus). The reason for the failure is currently unknown. Type I interferons (IFN) are a major component for the host innate immunity, and a key pathogenic factor in lupus. We found that CD20 antibody potentiated human B cells for its production of IFNs in vitro. This function was specific to CD20-expressing cells and the potentiation function seems to be instant. In addition, ectopic expression of CD20 in non-B-lymphocytes increased the IFN promoter reporter activities. Because IFNs are a key pathogenic factor in lupus, our data suggest that, in the presence of virus infection, the CD20- antibody-mediated enhancement of IFN production might be related to its failure in lupus treatments. This work may provide new insights for CD20-Ab therapeutic applications.