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Friday 01 October 2004

[Rituximab and autoimmune disorders therapy]

By: Quint L.

Rev Med Interne 2004 Oct;25(10):752-4

INTRODUCTION: B lymphocytes play a central role in pathogenesis of autoimmune disease. This suggests that therapies directed against B lymphocytes may be effective for the treatment of human autoimmune mediated disease. EXEGESIS: Rituximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody directed against the CD20 antigen expressed on most B cells and is used to treat B cell non Hodgkin lymphoma. Rituximab is highly effective in depleting B lymphocytes in vivo. Such treatment could presumably eliminate B cells producing autoantibodies. Main mechanisms of action of Rituximab are discussed with implication in the management of autoimmune diseases. CONCLUSION: Use of Rituximab for autoimmune disorders therapy is attractive because of its effect on B lymphocytes. However, therapeutics indications have to be adapted to the inherent differences in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases to assess efficiency.

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