However, the proportion of 2B4-expressing APO866 cost cells was decreased significantly in CD56+ NK cells and CD14+ monocytes from patients with SLE compared to healthy controls (Fig. 4c,d). Although all monocytes are known to express 2B4, monocytes from two patients with SLE (patient 7, SLEDAI = 8 and patient 17, SLEDAI = 4) showed almost no expression of 2B4. Interestingly, when we compared the expression of 2B4 at the single-cell level, the MFIR of 2B4 was down-regulated significantly by all 2B4-expressing cells, including total PBMCs, CD3+ T cells, CD56+ NK cells and CD14+ monocytes (Table 2). Consistent with the 2B4 splice variant result, these data indicate clearly that the expression of 2B4 is altered in SLE. In the present study we have analysed the expression and differential splicing of 2B4 and CS1, two members of the SLAM family in PBMCs from patients with SLE. The important roles of SLAM family receptors are recognized increasingly due to their broad expression in immune cells, including haematopoietic stem and progenitor click here cells . As most SLAM family receptors are self-ligands, one important feature of these receptors is their capability to mediate both homotypic and heterotypic cell-to-cell interactions. For example, CS1-expressing B cells can interact not only with nearby CS1-expressing B cells but also with other immune cells expressing CS1, such as dendritic cells. Unlike other members of the SLAM
family, the ligand for 2B4 is CD48. However, 2B4-expressing cells can also interact homotypically with each other Orotic acid because CD48 is expressed on all haematopoietic
cells, including 2B4-expressing cells. There is an accumulation of data demonstrating a critical role played by SLAM family receptors in immune regulation [48–50]. SLE is characterized by hyperreactive B cells that produce pathogenic autoantibodies. However, detailed features of B cell abnormalities are largely unknown. Recently, a number of different subsets of circulating B cells were reported in SLE, including naive B cells, memory B cells, plasma cells and plasmablasts . Our flow cytometry study also found distinct subsets of CD19-positive B cells in PBMCs of SLE patients, based on CS1 expression; CS1-negative B cells (CD19-middle), CS1-low B cells (CD19-high) and CS1-high B cells (CD19-low) (Fig. 3). According to a recent study, the majority of CD19+ B cells are IgD+ and CD27-, indicating naive B cells . They also reported CD19-high B cells as autoreactive memory B cells, and the frequency of this population correlates with disease activity [52,53]. Also, active SLE disease has been shown to correlate with a high frequency of plasma cells, which express high levels of CD27 and low levels of CD19 [54,55]. Based on these studies, we believe that CS1-negative, CD19-middle B cells are naive B cells; CS1-low, CD19-high B cells are memory B cells; and CS1-high, CD19-low B cells are plasma cells.