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Cause of Scleroderma: B Cells and T Cells

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Overview of B Cells and T Cells
B Cells and T-Cells and Autoimmunity
B Cells and T Cells and Systemic Sclerosis

Overview of B Cells and T Cells

T cells are white blood cells that help stimulate an immune response to infections. In the thymus gland, lympohocytes are matured into T cells. Sometimes T cells become overactive, which is suspected as being part of the process that leads to autoimmune diseases. (Also see: Causes of Scleroderma, What is Scleroderma?, Types of Scleroderma, and Systemic Sclerosis)
B Cells and T Cells.The white blood cells involved in the acquired immune response are called 'lymphocytes'. There are two main types of lymphocytes - B cells and T cells. B and T lymphocytes are made in the bone marrow, like the other blood cells. They have to fully mature before they can help in the immune response. T cells travel through the blood stream to the thymus gland where they become fully developed. Once they are fully mature, they travel to the spleen and lymph nodes, ready to fight infection. Cancer Research UK.
Thymus. The thymus is a ductless gland located in the upper anterior portion of the chest cavity. It is most active during puberty, after which it shrinks in size and activity in most individuals and is replaced with fat. The thymus plays an important role in the development of the immune system in early life, and its cells form a part of the body's normal immune system. Wikepedia.

B Cells and T Cells and Autoimmunity

Implication of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in disease-specific autoreactive B cell activation in ectopic lymphoid structures of Sjogren's syndrome (SS). Active EBV infection is selectively associated with ectopic lymphoid structures in salivary glands of Sjogren's syndrome and appears to contribute to local growth and differentiation of disease-specific autoreactive B-cells. PubMed, Arthritis Rheumatol, 2014 May 28. (Also see: Sjogren's Syndrome)
Natural killer (NK) cells in human autoimmune disorders. NK cells are innate lymphocytes that play a critical role in early host defense against viruses. PubMed, Arthritis Res Ther, 2013 Jul 11.
OSU Study explains health benefits of green tea. One of the beneficial compounds found in green tea has a powerful ability to increase the number of “regulatory T cells” that play a key role in immune function and suppression of autoimmune disease. OSU News, 06/06/2011. (Also see: Food Guide)
Therapeutic Targeting of B Cells for Rheumatic Autoimmune Diseases. This article reviews the current knowledge of B-cell biology and pathogenesis as well as the modern therapeutic approaches for rheumatic autoimmune diseases focusing in particular on the targeting of B-cell-specific surface molecules and on the blocking of B-cell activation and survival. Engel P, Pharmacol Rev. 2011 Jan 18. (Also see: Rheumatic Disease)

B and T Cells and Systemic Sclerosis (SSc, Scleroderma)

Augmented Inducible costimulator (ICOS) expression in patients with early diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSsc). Augmented ICOS signalling may contribute to the pathogenesis of Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) during early progressive disease. Soluble ICOS levels may be used as a serum marker for the activity and severity of SSc. PubMed, Rheumatology. 2013 Feb;52(2):242-51.
B-cell depletion therapy in patients with diffuse systemic sclerosis associates with a significant decrease in PDGFR expression and activation in spindle-like cells in the skin. Rituximab (RTX) may favorably affect skin fibrosis through attenuation of PDGFR expression and activation, a finding that supports a disease-modifying role of RTX in Systemic Sclerosis (SSc). Arthritis Res Ther. 2012 Jun 14;14(3):R145. (Also see: Scleroderma Treatments and Clinical Trials)
 
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