Death Receptor 5 (DR5) induces apoptosis in various types of cells and is a potential therapeutic target. We have investigated whether targeting DR5 could be used to eliminate pathogenic B lymphocytes from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. We examined DR5 expression and function on B lymphocytes from healthy controls subjects, SLE patients, and human tonsil. DR5 was expressed similarly on all B cell subpopulations, including resting and activated B cells. Expression of DR5 was equivalent on B cells from SLE patients and healthy subjects. Additionally, DR5 expression was unchanged after B lymphocyte stimulation. However, B cells were resistant to DR5-induced apoptosis, including after in vitro activation. No changes in subsets of B cells were observed in subjects of a trial of CS-1008, an agonist anti-DR5. While DR5 shows promise as a way to selectively eliminate tumor cells and activated synoviocytes, these data suggest DR5 alone cannot be used as a target to remove pathogenic SLE B cells. © 2010.