The pink guys are lymphocytes (T-cells in this case) under electron microscopy. photo from Texas Center for Cancer Nanomedicine
Benlysta (belimumab) Decreases the Cells that Make Bad Antinuclear Antibodies: See Benlysta Reviews Below
Read this and other Benlysta reviews to learn how amazing Benlysta works. There are very good reasons why it has achieved 3 FDA approvals for lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE, pediatric lupus, and lupus nephritis) in the past 10 years. It is safe and effective per many Benlysta reviews. It is used as an IV treatment for lupus as well as a self-injectable form. Before you get your Benlysta first infusion or self-injection, make sure to learn as much as you can from this and other Benlysta reviews. Today, we use Benlysta for lupus nephritis, SLE, and pediatric lupus.
How the target (BLyS) of Benlysta normally works in the immune system:
BLyS is B-cell fertilizer
There is an immune system chemical messenger (a cytokine) called BLyS (B Lymphocyte Stimulator) also called BAFF (B cell activating factor). B-cells that make antibodies require this BLyS (BAFF) to stay alive.
For Example: Suppose you get pneumonia from a bacteria called Pneumococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). B-cells are called upon to produce pneumococcal antibodies. The immune system makes a lot of BLyS to keep the pneumococcal antibody producing B-cells alive. When the infection is gone, the immune system stop making BLyS. The B-cells then retire and die because we don’t need them any more. When cells of the body retire and die a natural death when not needed, it is called apoptosis. Think of BLyS as “B-cell fertilizer.” Without BLyS, B-cells go through apoptosis, which is an important process of the body so that younger, newer cells can replace old, unneeded cells.
Benlysta (belimumab) attaches to BLyS and takes it away so B-cells can die
Lupus patients constantly make too much BLyS, so those bad B-cells that make autoantibodies that attack your own body’s cells (ANA, anti-dsDNA, etc) stay alive, and can even be immortal. Benlysta binds to BLyS and takes it away. The bad B-cells can then retire, die, and go away (go through apoptosis).
Benlysta is too large of a molecule to be taken by pill form. The stomach and intestines would just destroy it and absorb just parts of it. Therefore, it is a self-injectable and an IV treatment for lupus instead. If you are reading this before your Benlysta first infusion or injection, that is wonderful! But, make sure to learn more by reading other Benlysta reviews as well.
Yet, during infections, the immune system can still make lots of BLyS so that the important, needed B-cells can fight off the infection.
After studying Benlysta patients for over 20 years, we are not seeing any more infections in our Benlysta patients than we do in those taking placebo plus “standard of care” therapies.
Think of Benlysta as balancing out the immune system, achieving homeostasis, rather than suppressing it.
Are you on Benlysta? How are you doing on it?
Shin, W., Lee, H.T., Lim, H. et al. BAFF-neutralizing interaction of belimumab related to its therapeutic efficacy for treating systemic lupus erythematosus. Nat Commun 9, 1200 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03620-2
Disclosure: I am on the Speaker’s Bureau of GSK, the manufacturer of Benlysta