Decreased expression of interleukin-21 receptor on peripheral B lymphocytes in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Hiroki Mitoma, Takahiko Horiuchi, Yasutaka Kimoto, Hiroshi Tsukamoto, Ayumi Uchino, Yasuhiro Tamimoto, Yugo Miyagi, Mine Harada

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40 Citations (Scopus)


Interleukin-21 (IL-21) is the most recent member of the common gamma-chain-dependent cytokine family. We studied the expression of the IL-21 receptor (IL-21R) on peripheral B lymphocytes in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSjS), and healthy controls. Naive B lymphocytes expressed higher levels of IL-21R than memory B lymphocytes and plasmablasts, both in SLE patients and healthy controls. The proportion of IL-21R+ cells in the total peripheral B lymphocytes, as well as those in the respective B lymphocyte subsets, was significantly lower in SLE compared with those of pSjS or healthy controls (p=0.0002 and p<0.0001, respectively, in total B lymphocytes). The decreased expression of IL-21R in SLE was significantly associated with nephritis and high titer anti-double-strand DNA antibody. In some SLE patients, IL-21-induced proliferation of CD19+ B lymphocytes, in the presence of CD40 stimulation, was impaired. The abnormalities of IL-21R signaling might contribute to the pathological features of SLE, such as B lymphocytopenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-615
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of molecular medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


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