Human B cell colonies were grown from peripheral blood of 12 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and from 12 healthy control subjects. The SLE group showed a large increase (p less than 0.001) in the number of colony forming cells (CFC) present in peripheral blood as compared with controls. The CFC were of the pre-B cell type. There was also a loss of OKT8+ cell inhibition of B cell colony growth in the SLE group compared with control subjects.
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