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B cells may be key cells in uveitis

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Controlling the immune response might be a way of controlling uveitis, a small observational study has suggested. A team of specialists from different disciplines has found that patients with uveitis of unknown origin have significantly more CD5+ B cells circulating in their blood than healthy controls (mean (SD) amounts 91 (76) × 106 /l in patients and 58 (34) × 106 /l in controls).

This was also true for patients who had anterior uveitis (94 (79) × 106 /l) and severe uveitis (108 (93) × 106 /l), though the values did not differ significantly between each other. No appreciable differences were seen between anterior and posterior uveitis, uveitis in one or both eyes, or single or multiple episodes.

Twenty seven patients were tested out of 315 with uveitis not associated with any systemic diseases and compared with 21 healthy age and sex matched controls. Twenty patients had anterior uveitis and seven posterior uveitis.

High numbers of CD5+ B cells are found in some autoimmune diseases, where they seem to have a role in pathogenesis. Uveitis may be of unknown origin or associated with many general diseases and is assumed to have an immunological component.

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