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Differential Effects of Fingolimod and Natalizumab on B Cell Repertoires in Multiple Sclerosis Patients.

Neurotherapeutics. 2020 Nov 30. doi: 10.1007/s13311-020-00975-7. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33258072.

Authors/Editors: Kowarik MC, Astling D, Lepennetier G, Ritchie A, Hemmer B, Owens GP, Bennett JL.
Publication Date: 2020

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Abstract


Natalizumab and fingolimod are effective multiple sclerosis (MS) therapies that disrupt lymphocyte migration but have differential effects on B cell maturation and trafficking. We investigated their effects on peripheral blood (PB) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) B cell repertoires using next-generation deep sequencing. Paired CSF and PB B cell subsets (naïve, CD27+ memory, and CD27−IgD− double-negative B cells and plasmablasts) were collected by applying flow cytometry at baseline and after 6 months of treatment and their respective heavy-chain variable region repertoires assessed by Illumina MiSeq. Treatment with fingolimod contracted, whereas natalizumab expanded circulating PB B cells. CSF B cell numbers remained stable following fingolimod treatment but decreased with natalizumab therapy. Clonal overlap between CSF and PB B cells was reduced with natalizumab treatment but remained stable with fingolimod therapy. Lineage analyses of pre- and posttreatment CSF B cell repertoires revealed large, clonally expanded B cell clusters in natalizumab-treated MS patients but no intrathecal clonal expansion following fingolimod therapy. Our findings suggest that natalizumab diminishes the exchange of peripheral and intrathecal B cells without impacting intrathecal clonal expansion. In contrast, fingolimod treatment fails to alter blood–brain barrier B cell exchange but diminishes intrathecal clonal expansion. Sphingosine-1 phosphate receptor inhibition may alter intrathecal B cell biology in MS.

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