What is the function of the protein CD20?

Dec 22, 2009

Antibodies directed against the protein CD20, which is expressed by immune cells known as B cells, are used to treat B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis. Despite this, the function of CD20 has not been determined. Now, a team of researchers led by René van Lier, at the Academic Medical Center, The Netherlands, has determined that CD20 has a nonredundant role in generating optimal B cell immune responses by analyzing a patient lacking the protein.

The patient was referred to the Academic Medical Center at four years of age, with a history of intermittent respiratory infections and recurrent bronchopneumonia. Detailed analysis of immune from the patient revealed that the B cells lacked CD20 expression due to a mutation in the CD20 gene. These CD20-deficient B cells failed to respond normally to certain stimuli in vitro, specifically those known as T-independent antigens.

Further, vaccination of the patient with a T-independent antigen led to a markedly impaired B cell response. The authors therefore conclude that CD20 has an important role in enabling B cells to respond optimally to T-independent antigens and that absence of this causes an immunodeficiency characterized by a reduced capacity to make B cell responses to T-independent .

Explore further: The dopamine transporter: Researchers study a common link between addiction and neurological disease

More information: CD20 deficiency in humans results in impaired T cell-independent antibody responses, www.jci.org/articles/view/4023… YsPY1tn296hkLJ0ksns0

Provided by Journal of Clinical Investigation

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New origin found for a critical immune response

Mar 01, 2009

An immune system response that is critical to the first stages of fighting off viruses and harmful bacteria comes from an entirely different direction than most scientists had thought, according to a finding by researchers ...

Recommended for you

Strategy proposed for preventing diseases of aging

11 hours ago

Medicine focuses almost entirely on fighting chronic diseases in a piecemeal fashion as symptoms develop. Instead, more efforts should be directed to promoting interventions that have the potential to prevent ...

User comments : 0