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B-cell activating factor receptor deficiency is associated with an adult-onset antibody deficiency syndrome in humans.

Warnatz K., Salzer U., Rizzi M., Fischer B., Gutenberger S., Boehm J., Kienzler A.-K., Pan-Hammarstroem Q., Hammarstroem L., Rakhmanov M., Schlesier M., Grimbacher B., Peter H.-H., Eibel H.

B-cell survival depends on signals induced by B-cell activating factor (BAFF) binding to its receptor (BAFF-R). In mice, mutations in BAFF or BAFF-R cause B-cell lymphopenia and antibody deficiency. Analyzing BAFF-R expression and BAFF-binding to B cells in common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) patients, we identified two siblings carrying a homozygous deletion in the BAFF-R gene. Removing most of the BAFF-R transmembrane part, the deletion precludes BAFF-R expression. Without BAFF-R, B-cell development is arrested at the stage of transitional B cells and the numbers of all subsequent B-cell stages are severely reduced. Both siblings have lower IgG and IgM serum levels but, unlike most CVID patients, normal IgA concentrations. They also did not mount a T-independent immune response against pneumococcal cell wall polysaccharides but only one BAFF-R-deficient sibling developed recurrent infections. Therefore, deletion of the BAFF-R gene in humans causes a characteristic immunological phenotype but it does not necessarily lead to a clinically manifest immunodeficiency.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 106:13945-13950(2009) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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