Introduction: Alemtuzumab is highly effective in the treatment of patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (PwRMS) and selectively targets the CD52 antigen, with a consequent profound lymphopenia, particularly of CD4+ T lymphocytes. However, the immunological basis of its long-term efficacy has not been clearly elucidated. Methods: We followed up 29 alemtuzumab-treated RMS patients over a period of 72 months and studied the immunological reconstitution of their CD4+ T cell subsets by means of phenotypic and functional analysis and through mRNA-related molecule expression, comparing them to healthy subject (HS) values (rate 2:1). Results: In patients receiving only two-course alemtuzumab, the percentage of CD4+ lymphocytes decreased and returned to basal levels only at month 48. Immune reconstitution of the CD4+ subsets was characterized by a significant increase (p < 0.001) in Treg cell percentage at month 24, when compared to baseline, and was accompanied by restoration of the Treg suppressor function that increased within a range from 2- to 6.5-fold compared to baseline and that persisted through to the end of the follow-up. Furthermore, a significant decrease in self-reactive myelin basic protein-specific Th17 (p < 0.0001) and Th1 (p < 0.05) cells reaching HS values was observed starting from month 12. There was a change in mRNA of cytokines, chemokines, and transcriptional factors related to Th17, Th1, and Treg cell subset changes, consequently suggesting a shift toward immunoregulation and a reduction of T cell recruitment to the central nervous system. Conclusions: These data provide further insight into the mechanism that could contribute to the long-term 6-year persistence of the clinical effect of alemtuzumab on RMS disease activity.

Long-Term Effects of Alemtuzumab on CD4+ Lymphocytes in Multiple Sclerosis Patients: A 72-Month Follow-Up

Rolla S.
Co-first
;
De Mercanti S. F.
Co-first
;
Bardina V.;Maglione A.;Taverna D.;Novelli F.;Clerico M.
Last
2022

Abstract

Introduction: Alemtuzumab is highly effective in the treatment of patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (PwRMS) and selectively targets the CD52 antigen, with a consequent profound lymphopenia, particularly of CD4+ T lymphocytes. However, the immunological basis of its long-term efficacy has not been clearly elucidated. Methods: We followed up 29 alemtuzumab-treated RMS patients over a period of 72 months and studied the immunological reconstitution of their CD4+ T cell subsets by means of phenotypic and functional analysis and through mRNA-related molecule expression, comparing them to healthy subject (HS) values (rate 2:1). Results: In patients receiving only two-course alemtuzumab, the percentage of CD4+ lymphocytes decreased and returned to basal levels only at month 48. Immune reconstitution of the CD4+ subsets was characterized by a significant increase (p < 0.001) in Treg cell percentage at month 24, when compared to baseline, and was accompanied by restoration of the Treg suppressor function that increased within a range from 2- to 6.5-fold compared to baseline and that persisted through to the end of the follow-up. Furthermore, a significant decrease in self-reactive myelin basic protein-specific Th17 (p < 0.0001) and Th1 (p < 0.05) cells reaching HS values was observed starting from month 12. There was a change in mRNA of cytokines, chemokines, and transcriptional factors related to Th17, Th1, and Treg cell subset changes, consequently suggesting a shift toward immunoregulation and a reduction of T cell recruitment to the central nervous system. Conclusions: These data provide further insight into the mechanism that could contribute to the long-term 6-year persistence of the clinical effect of alemtuzumab on RMS disease activity.
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818325
818325
alemtuzumab; immune reconstitution; MBP (myelin basic protein); multiple sclerosis; Treg cells
Rolla S.; De Mercanti S.F.; Bardina V.; Maglione A.; Taverna D.; Novelli F.; Cocco E.; Vladic A.; Habek M.; Adamec I.; Annovazzi P.O.L.; Horakova D.; Clerico M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1852658
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