B Cells in Autoimmune Diseases: Focus on Sjögren's Syndrome

NIDCR Grand Rounds Lecture

Speaker: Jacques-Olivier Pers, PU-PH, DDS, PhD, University of Western Brittany Brest
Tuesday, April 17, 2018 12:00pm–1:00pm
Lipsett Auditorium, Building 10
NIH Main Campus, Bethesda, MD


B cells play a complex role in the development of systemic autoimmune diseases, especially in primary Sjögren's syndrome, a progressive condition that damages saliva and tear glands and leads to dry mouth, dry eyes, and other symptoms. Dr. Jacques-Olivier Pers will outline growing evidence that regulatory B lymphocytes (Breg) may blunt the pathogenesis of systemic autoimmune disease, and thus may be potential targets for treatment. Studies of distinct B cell subsets that play differing roles in autoimmune diseases are providing new insights into Breg development and immune regulation in different chronic inflammatory diseases. Researchers are also uncovering the mechanisms by which signaling molecules known as cytokines lead to distinct B-cell functions. By determining the nature of the cytokine milieu, Pers and colleagues have identified a distinct cytokine network involved in B-cell specialization. This network may be involved in systemic autoimmune diseases and may be associated with higher B cell reactivity in some clusters of patients.


Presenter’s Bio:

Dr. Jacques-Olivier Pers is director of the INSERM immunology research team U1227 at the University of Brest, France. He has been involved since 1997 in uncovering the role of B cells in autoimmune diseases and lymphoproliferations. His studies have yielded 150 original articles and reviews that have helped to improve understanding B cell functions in autoimmunity—especially in Sjögren's syndrome—and the contribution of B cell activity factor (BAFF) to autoimmunity. His research group studies immunopathology and immunotherapy in the context of normal and pathological B cells. Among the models studied are: autoimmune diseases (Sjögren’s syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis), lymphoproliferative disorders (chronic lymphocytic leukemia), kidney graft rejection and periodontal diseases from upstream approaches (epigenetics and autoimmunity, the genetic control of BAFF, calcium signaling, regulatory B cells) to downstream approaches (multicenter clinical trials).


Selected References:

Saraux A, Pers JO, Devauchelle-Pensec V. Treatment of primary Sjögren's syndrome. Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2016 Aug;12(8):456-71.

Charras A, Konsta OD, Le Dantec C, Bagacean C, Kapsogeorgou EK, Tzioufas AG, Pers JO, Bordron A, Renaudineau Y. Cell-specific epigenome-wide DNA methylation profile in long-term cultured minor salivary gland epithelial cells from patients with Sjögren's syndrome. Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 Mar;76(3):625-628.


About the NIDCR Clinical Research Fellowship Grand Rounds:

NIDCR Clinical Research Fellowship Grand Rounds began in early 2014 and occur four times a year.  Leading scientists and clinicians address advances in clinical, translational, and basic research in areas related to the dental, oral, and craniofacial complex and bone metabolism. 

NIH staff can watch the video online

Sign language interpreters will be provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should contact Blair Battle, NIDCR/OCD Office Manager at (301) 827-1647 or blair.battle@nih.gov and/or the Federal Relay (1-800-877-8339).

Last Reviewed
July 2018

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