Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Regulatory B cells (Breg) are a heterogenous population with immune-modulating functions. The rarity of human IL-10+ Breg makes translational studies difficult. Here we report ex vivo expansion of human B cells with in vivo regulatory function (expBreg). CD154-stimulation of human CD19+ B cells drives >900-fold expansion of IL-10+ B cells that is maintained in culture for 14 days. Whilst expBreg-mediated suppressive function is partially dependent on IL-10 expression, CRISPR-mediated gene deletions demonstrate predominant roles for TIM-1 and CD154. TIM-1 regulates STAT3 signalling and modulates downstream suppressive function. In a clinically relevant humanised mouse model of skin transplantation, expBreg prolongs human allograft survival. Meanwhile, CD19+CD73-CD25+CD71+TIM-1+CD154+ Breg cells are enriched in the peripheral blood of human donors with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). TIM-1+ and pSTAT3+ B cells are also identified in B cell clusters within histological sections of human cutaneous SCC tumours. Our findings thus provide insights on Breg homoeostasis and present possible targets for Breg-related therapies.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Commun

Publication Date





Animals, Antigens, CD19, B-Lymphocytes, Regulatory, Carcinoma, Squamous Cell, Humans, Interleukin-10, Lymphocyte Activation, Mice, STAT3 Transcription Factor, Skin Neoplasms