Ann Rheum Dis 65:iii34-iii36 doi:10.1136/ard.2006.058412
  • Animal models

The BLyS/BAFF family of ligands and receptors: key targets in the therapy and understanding of autoimmunity

  1. M P Cancro
  1. Correspondence to:
    M P Cancro
    Department of Pathology, 284 John Morgan Building, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 36th and Hamilton Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6082, USA; Cancro{at}


    The B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS; also termed BAFF) family of ligands and receptors plays a central role in B lymphocyte development, selection, and homoeostasis. Members of this family can independently influence different B cell subsets, because the interactions between the two ligands and three receptors vary, and the receptors themselves are differentially expressed among developing, naive, and antigen experienced B cell subsets. These properties prompt careful assessment of how ablative therapies may influence the behaviour of upstream or downstream B lineage populations, as well as how the implementation and expectations of therapeutics targeting BLyS family members must be guided by knowledge of the B cell subsets contributing to pathogenesis.


    • Competing interests: none declared