The cause of many autoimmune and inflammatory diseases is unresolved, although dysregulated production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family members appears to be important in many cases. BAFF, a new member of the TNF family, binds to B cells and costimulates their growth in vitro. Mice transgenic for BAFF have vastly increased numbers of mature B and effector T cells, and develop autoimmune-like manifestations such as the presence of high levels of rheumatoid factors, circulating immune complexes, anti-DNA autoantibodies, and immunoglobulin deposition in the kidneys. This phenotype is reminiscent of certain human autoimmune disorders and suggests that dysregulation of BAFF expression may be a critical element in the chain of events leading to autoimmunity.
SciCrunch® is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch® will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to SciCrunch®, however this is not currently a free service.