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Mult Scler. 2010 Jul;16(7):796-800. doi: 10.1177/1352458510373112. Epub 2010 Jun 9.

Multiple sclerosis patients lacking oligoclonal bands in the cerebrospinal fluid are less likely to develop neutralizing antibodies against interferon beta.

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Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


Multiple sclerosis patients without cerebrospinal fluid oligoclonal IgG bands have been proposed to constitute an immunogenetically distinct subgroup of multiple sclerosis that may also differ in terms of prognosis. A proportion of patients with multiple sclerosis receiving IFNbeta develop neutralizing antibodies, which interfere with treatment efficacy. Evidence suggests that the likelihood of developing neutralizing antibodies is partly genetically determined. Here, we hypothesized that absence of oligoclonal IgG bands reflects a property of B-cell responses in oligoclonal IgG band-negative patients characterized by a lessened propensity to develop neutralizing antibodies. We aimed to compare the development of neutralizing antibodies against IFNbeta between oligoclonal IgG band-negative and oligoclonal IgG band-positive multiple sclerosis patients. Treatment, oligoclonal IgG band and neutralizing antibody information was obtained for 2219 patients from the Swedish multiple sclerosis registry and the Swedish neutralizing antibody registry. Additional data on genotype was available for 532 patients. A correlation was found between oligoclonal IgG band negativity and neutralizing antibody negativity (p = 0.02). This difference was confined to neutralizing antibodies against IFNbeta-1a, since oligoclonal IgG band-negative patients were, to a lesser extent, neutralizing antibody positive compared with oligoclonal IgG band-positive patients if treated with IFNbeta-1a (12% vs. 23%; p = 0.005). No difference was observed for IFNbeta-1b-treated patients (44% vs. 46%). We propose that oligoclonal IgG band-negative patients differ immunologically from oligoclonal IgG band-positive patients, potentially influenced by distinct HLA-DRB1 alleles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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