It is becoming more and more accepted that, in addition to producing autoantibodies, B lymphocytes have other important functions that influence the development of autoimmunity. For example, autoreactive B cells are able to produce inflammatory cytokines and activate pathogenic T cells. B lymphocytes can react to extracellular signals with a range of responses from anergy to autoreactivity. The final outcome is determined by the relative contribution of signaling events mediated by activating and inhibitory pathways. Besides the B cell antigen receptor (BCR), several costimulatory receptors expressed on B cells can also induce B cell proliferation and survival, or regulate antibody production. These include CD19, CD40, the B cell activating factor receptor, and Toll-like receptors. Hyperactivity of these receptors clearly contributes to breaking B-cell tolerance in several autoimmune diseases. Inhibitors of these activating signals (including protein tyrosine phosphatases, deubiquitinating enzymes and several adaptor proteins) are crucial to control B-cell activation and maintain B-cell tolerance. In this review, we summarize the inhibitory signaling mechanisms that counteract B-cell activation triggered by the BCR and the coreceptors
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