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CD38 is a transmembrane protein expressed in B lymphocytes, and is able to induce responses as proliferation, differentiation or apoptosis. Several reports propose that CD38 deficiency accelerates autoimmune processes in murine models of autoimmune diabetes, lymphoproliferation and rheumatoid arthritis. Other reports have shown elevated CD38 expression in B and T cells from patients with autoimmunity; however, the role of CD38 is still unclear in the development of autoimmunity. Recently, it has been characterized as CD1dhi CD5+ regulatory B cell subpopulation able to produce IL-10, and the loss of these cells exacerbates the autoimmunity in murine models. Here, we report that CD38-/- mice exhibited elevated titres of ANAS, anti-dsDNA autoantibodies from 12 months of age and were higher by 16 months of age and mice presented kidney damage. Interestingly, there is a reduction in the survival of CD38-/- mice compared to the WT. Furthermore, CD38 is highly expressed by CD1dhigh CD5+ regulatory B cells, and the agonistic anti-CD38 stimulus plus LPS was able to increase the percentage of this cell subset and its ability to induce IL-10 production. Together, these results suggest that CD38 could play a role in the control of autoimmune diseases through their expression on regulatory B cells. © 2018 The Foundation for the Scandinavian Journal of Immunology.

Chávez Adriana Karina

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