Production of immunoglobulins was lower in ST subjects as a result of reduced survival and not lower proliferation selleck inhibitor of B cells. Increased apoptosis of B cells in the MB0 group can result in fewer cells developing into antibody-secreting cells upon stimulation, hypogammaglobulinaemia and poor humoral response to antigens. For CVID MB1 patients a different mechanism should be responsible, because their B cells behave like control B cells in their sensitivity
to apoptosis. This holds true for the two evaluated CVID MB2 patients. Their B cell apoptosis rescue was similar to CVID MB1 patients and controls (data not shown). In a recent paper, Borte et al.  suggested that IL-21 restores immunoglobulin production in patients with CVID. Using purified B cells, they found that IL-21 reduced apoptosis from naive and memory B cells from 14 CVID patients. However, no CVID group distinction was made; stimulation with anti-CD40 and IL-21 also included IL-4, and they considered only the CD27– naive and CD27+ IgD– memory B cell populations (excluding CD27+IgD+). The proportion of MB1/MB2 to MB0 patients in their studied cohort
might have influenced the final result and explain the apparently distinct conclusions. We cannot exclude the possibility that the peripheral blood B cells with increased apoptosis found in CVID MB0 could be the result of incomplete activation by follicular CD4+ T cells. In keeping Deforolimus with this, Hagn et al.  have demonstrated that human B cells co-cultured with incompletely activated CD4 T cells that secrete IL-21, but do not express CD40L, differentiate into granzyme B (GzmB)-secreting and potentially cytotoxic BCKDHB cells, able to induce slowly developing apoptosis of several cell lines. Activation of human B cells by IL-21 and BCR engagement in the absence of CD40 ligation results in their differentiation into GzmB-secreting
cytotoxic cells rather than into plasma cells. In summary, our findings reinforce the fact that (in humans) the net effect of different stimuli on B cells depends upon both the B cell subpopulation studied and the activation status of the B cell and underscore the relevance of these features in CVID physiopathology. We suggest that higher levels of apoptosis of CVID MB0 CD27+ B cells during an immune response can result in lower levels of immunoglobulin production, irrespective of their proliferation. The results highlight the heterogeneity among CVID patients, where distinct molecular mechanisms underlie common clinical symptoms, and highlight the need to classify and study CVID patients separately when evaluating B cell responses. A.C., J.P., N.L. and J.M.F. designed and performed the experiments and analysed the data. N.M. and J.P. contributed to patient selection. All authors contributed to writing the manuscript.