Ocrelizumab associates with reduced cerebrospinal fluid B and CD20dim CD4+ T cells in primary progressive multiple sclerosis

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Abstract

The anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody ocrelizumab reduces disability progression in primary progressive multiple sclerosis. CD20 is a prototypical B-cell marker; however, subpopulations of CD4 + and CD8 + T cells in peripheral blood and cerebrospinal fluid also express low levels of CD20 (CD20 dim). Therefore, direct targeting and depletion of these CD20 dim T-cell subpopulations may contribute to the therapeutic effect of ocrelizumab. The aim of this observational cohort study was to compare CD20 + B-cell and CD20 dim T-cell distributions between peripheral blood and cerebrospinal fluid of ocrelizumab-treated or ocrelizumab-untreated people with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Ocrelizumab treatment was associated with depletion of circulating B cells and CD20 dim CD4 + and CD20 dim CD8 + T cells (P < 0.0001, P = 0.0016 and P = 0.0008, respectively) but, in cerebrospinal fluid, only with lower proportions of B cells and CD20 dim memory CD4 + T cells (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0043, respectively). The proportional prevalence of cerebrospinal fluid CD20 dim memory CD8 + T cells was not significantly reduced (P = 0.1333). Only in cerebrospinal fluid, the proportions of CD20 dim cells within CD4 + and not CD8 + T cells positive for CCR5, CCR6 and CXCR3 were reduced in ocrelizumab-treated participants. The proportion of CD20 dim CD4 + T cells and abundance of CD4 + relative to CD8 + T cells in cerebrospinal fluid correlated positively with age (R = 0.6799, P = 0.0150) and Age-Related Multiple Sclerosis Severity score (R = 0.8087, P = 0.0014), respectively. We conclude that, in contrast to cerebrospinal fluid CD20 dim CD8 + T cells, B cells and CD20 dim CD4 + T cells are reduced in cerebrospinal fluid of people with primary progressive multiple sclerosis with an ocrelizumab-associated depletion of circulating B cells and CD20 dim T cells. Therefore, these cells are likely to contribute to the therapeutic effects of ocrelizumab in people with primary progressive multiple sclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfcae021
JournalBrain Communications
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jan 2024

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© The Author(s) 2024. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain.

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