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Front Pediatr. 2019 Oct 9;7:377. doi: 10.3389/fped.2019.00377. eCollection 2019.

Altered B-Lymphocyte Homeostasis in Idiopathic Nephrotic Syndrome.

Author information

1
Beijing Key Laboratory of Pediatric Chronic Kidney Disease and Blood Purification, Department of Nephrology, National Center for Children's Health, Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
2
Key Laboratory of Major Diseases in Children, Ministry of Education, Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
3
Laboratory of Immunology, Beijing Pediatric Research Institute, Beijing Children's Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
4
School of Biomedical Engineering, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.

Abstract

Background: B-cell-deleted therapy has been successfully used for children with idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (INS), suggesting that B cells may be involved in the pathogenesis of INS. B cells are a heterogenous population comprised of subpopulations distinguished by their phenotypes. However, few studies have focused on the alteration of B-cell homeostasis in INS. Methods: We measured the levels of B-cell subsets in the blood of 87 INS children via flow cytometry, prior to treatment with steroids. INS patients were divided into steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome (SSNS) and steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) groups based on their sensitivities to steroids after a one-month follow-up. Subsequently, we compared these INS patients with age- and sex-matched patients with relapse (n = 35) and remissions (n = 32), as well as healthy controls (n = 75). Results: We found that 65 SSNS patients exhibited an altered peripheral-blood B-cell-subset distribution, with increased levels of total, transitional, memory, IgM (immunoglobulin M) memory and switched-memory B cells compared to 22 SRNS patients. The proportion of total B cells was significantly higher in the SSNS group (22.1 ± 6.7% L, p < 0.001) than in the SRNS, remission, and control groups. In contrast, the levels of B-cell subsets in SRNS patients were generally the same as those in remission patients and healthy controls. Patients in relapse presented elevated memory B cells compared to those in other groups. The area under the ROC (receiver operating characteristic) curve of transition B cells at initial onset for the prediction of SSNS was 0.907 (95% confidence interval, 0.835-0.979). The analysis rendered an optimal cut-off value of 2.05 (% Lymphocyte) corresponding to 79.1% sensitivity and 90.9% specificity. Conclusions: We observed and verified that B-cell subsets are significantly altered in children with SSNS. We propose that elevated transitional B cells may be a promising marker for predicting successful immunosuppressive therapy during the initial onset of INS. Further research is needed to determine the function of memory B cells in INS.

KEYWORDS:

B cells; children; flow cytometry; idiopathic nephrotic syndrome; transitional B cell

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