Semin Liver Dis 2019; 39(04): 422-431
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-1688751
Review Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

The Contribution of B Cells in Autoimmune Liver Diseases

Sarah A. Taylor
1  Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
David N. Assis
2  Section of Digestive Diseases, Department of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
Cara L. Mack
3  Section of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Department of Pediatrics, Digestive Health Institute, Children's Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
21 June 2019 (online)


Autoreactive B cells can promote autoimmunity through antigen presentation to autoreactive T cells, production of autoantibodies, generation of cytokines promoting T cell activation and differentiation, and inhibition of regulatory T cells and B cells. Here, the authors highlight studies pertaining to B cell mechanisms associated with disease pathogenesis and outcomes in autoimmune hepatitis and the immune-mediated cholangiopathies (primary biliary cholangitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and biliary atresia). The vast majority of investigations focus on autoantibodies and future research endeavors should include deciphering the role of the B cell in T cell activation (through antigen presentation, cytokine/chemokine production, and inhibition of regulation). Targeting B cell mechanisms in the treatment of autoimmune liver diseases is also highlighted.