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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 973609, 5 pages
Review Article

CD20+ B Cell Depletion in Systemic Autoimmune Diseases: Common Mechanism of Inhibition or Disease-Specific Effect on Humoral Immunity?

1Department of Renal Medicine, Papageorgiou Hospital, 56403 Thessaloniki, Greece
22nd Prop Department of Internal Medicine, Hippokration General Hospital, Konstantinoupoleos 49, 54642 Thessaloniki, Greece

Received 8 February 2014; Accepted 3 March 2014; Published 27 March 2014

Academic Editor: Gabriel J. Tobón

Copyright © 2014 Panagiotis Pateinakis and Athina Pyrpasopoulou. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Autoimmunity remains a complex physiologic deviation, enabled and perpetuated by a variety of interplayers and pathways. Simplistic approaches, targeting either isolated end-effectors of more centrally placed interactors of these mechanisms, are continuously tried in an effort to comprehend and halt cascades with potential disabling and deleterious effects in the affected individuals. This review focuses on theoretical and clinically proved effects of rituximab-induced CD20+ B cell depletion on different systemic autoimmune diseases and extrapolates on pathogenetic mechanisms that may account for different interindividual or interdisease responses.