Author(s): Mackay F, Schneider P
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Abstract BAFF is a B cell survival factor that binds to three receptors BAFF-R, TACI and BCMA. BAFF-R is the receptor triggering naïve B cell survival and maturation while BCMA supports the survival of plasma cells in the bone marrow. Excessive BAFF production leads to autoimmunity, presumably as the consequence of inappropriate survival of self-reactive B cells. The function of TACI has been more elusive with TACI(-/-) mice revealing two sides of this receptor, a positive one driving T cell-independent immune responses and a negative one down-regulating B cell activation and expansion. Recent work has revealed that the regulation of TACI expression is intimately linked to the activation of innate receptors on B cells and that TACI signalling in response to multimeric BAFF and APRIL provides positive signals to plasmablasts. How TACI negatively regulates B cells remains elusive but may involve an indirect control of BAFF levels. The discovery of TACI mutations associated with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) in humans not only reinforces its important role for humoral responses but also suggests a more complex role than first anticipated from knockout animals. TACI is emerging as an unusual TNF receptor-like molecule with a sophisticated mode of action.
This article was published in Cytokine Growth Factor Rev
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology