This article is part of the supplement: New therapeutic targets in systemic lupus
B-cell activating factor targeted therapy and lupus
1 Department of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461, USA
2 Center for Autoimmunity and Musculoskeletal Diseases, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, 350 Community Drive, Manhasset, NY 11030, USA
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012, 14(Suppl 4):S2 doi:10.1186/ar3920Published: 2 November 2012
B-cell activating factor (BAFF), a member of the family of TNF-like cytokines, supports the survival and differentiation of B cells. The successful development of belimumab, a human antibody targeting soluble BAFF, has marked an important milestone in the development of biologic therapy for treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), although much remains unknown regarding the clinical utility of BAFF inhibition in SLE and other autoimmune diseases. In the present review, we provide an overview of the knowledge concerning BAFF's role in murine and human B-cell development and maturation, as well as the clinical and mechanistic effects of BAFF inhibition in human SLE.