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Treatment-Induced BAFF Expression and B Cell Biology in Multiple Sclerosis

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Although fingolimod and interferon-β are two mechanistically different multiple sclerosis (MS) treatments, they both induce B cell activating factor (BAFF) and shift the B cell pool towards a regulatory phenotype. However, whether there is a shared mechanism between both treatments in how they influence the B cell compartment remains elusive. In this study, we collected a cross-sectional study population of 112 MS patients (41 untreated, 42 interferon-β, 29 fingolimod) and determined B cell subsets, cell-surface and RNA expression of BAFF-receptor (BAFF-R) and transmembrane activator and cyclophilin ligand interactor (TACI) as well as plasma and/or RNA levels of BAFF, BAFF splice forms and interleukin-10 (IL-10) and -35 (IL-35). We added an in vitro B cell culture with four stimulus conditions (Medium, CpG, BAFF and CpG+BAFF) for untreated and interferon-β treated patients including measurement of intracellular IL-10 levels. Our flow experiments showed that interferon-β and fingolimod induced BAFF protein and mRNA expression (P ≤ 3.15 x 10-4) without disproportional change in the antagonizing splice form. Protein BAFF correlated with an increase in transitional B cells (P = 5.70 x 10-6), decrease in switched B cells (P = 3.29 x 10-4), and reduction in B cell-surface BAFF-R expression (P = 2.70 x 10-10), both on TACI-positive and -negative cells. TACI and BAFF-R RNA levels remained unaltered. RNA, plasma and in vitro experiments demonstrated that BAFF was not associated with increased IL-10 and IL-35 levels. In conclusion, treatment-induced BAFF correlates with a shift towards transitional B cells which are enriched for cells with an immunoregulatory function. However, BAFF does not directly influence the expression of the immunoregulatory cytokines IL-10 and IL-35. Furthermore, the post-translational mechanism of BAFF-induced BAFF-R cell surface loss was TACI-independent. These observations put the failure of pharmaceutical anti-BAFF strategies in perspective and provide insights for targeted B cell therapies.
Tijdschrift: Frontiers in Immunology
Volume: 12
Aantal pagina's: 10
Jaar van publicatie:2021
Trefwoorden:Immunologie