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J Immunol. 2014 Jul 15;193(2):580-6. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1400118. Epub 2014 Jun 13.

Rituximab efficiently depletes increased CD20-expressing T cells in multiple sclerosis patients.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158; and.
  • 2Department of Neurology, University Hospital, Basel 4031, Switzerland.
  • 3Department of Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94158; and Hans-Christian.vonBuedingen@ucsf.edu.

Abstract

In multiple sclerosis (MS), B cell-depleting therapy using monoclonal anti-CD20 Abs, including rituximab (RTX) and ocrelizumab, effectively reduces disease activity. Based on indirect evidence, it is generally believed that elimination of the Ag-presenting capabilities and Ag nonspecific immune functions of B cells underlie the therapeutic efficacy. However, a small subset of T lymphocytes (T cells) was shown to also express CD20, but controversy prevails surrounding the true existence of this T cell subpopulation. Using single-cell imaging flow cytometry and expression profiling of sorted lymphocyte subsets, we unequivocally demonstrate the existence of CD3(+)CD20(dim) T cells. We show that in MS patients, increased levels of CD3(+)CD20(dim) T cells are effectively depleted by RTX. The pathological relevance of this T cell subset in MS remains to be determined. However, given their potential proinflammatory functionality, depletion of CD20-expressing T cells may also contribute to the therapeutic effect of RTX and other mAbs targeting CD20.

Copyright © 2014 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

PMID:
24928997
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4082756
Free PMC Article
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