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B cell phenotypes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis relapsing after rituximab: expression of B cell-activating factor-binding receptors on B cell subsets

Becerra, E; De La Torre, I; Leandro, MJ; Cambridge, G; (2017) B cell phenotypes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis relapsing after rituximab: expression of B cell-activating factor-binding receptors on B cell subsets. Clinical and Experimental Immunology , 190 (3) pp. 372-383. 10.1111/cei.13024. Green open access

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Abstract

Serum levels of B cell‐activating factor (BAFF) rise following rituximab (RTX) therapy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Initiation of naive B cell return to the periphery and autoreactive B cell expansion leading to relapse after RTX may therefore be linked to interactions between BAFF and BAFF‐binding receptors (BBR). Relationships between serum BAFF and BBR expression [(BAFFR, calcium signal modulating cyclophilic ligand interactor (TACI) and B cell maturation antigen (BCMA)] were determined on B cell subsets, defined using immunoglobulin (Ig)D/CD38. Twenty pre‐RTX and 18 RA patients relapsing after B cell depletion were included. Results were analysed with respect to timing of relapse up to 7 months after peripheral B cell return (≥ 5 B cells/μl) and to serum BAFF levels. After B cell return, B cell populations from relapsing patients had significantly lower BAFFR+ expression compared to HC and pre‐RTX patients. The percentage of BAFFR+ B cells increased with time after B cell return and was correlated inversely with serum BAFF levels. BAFFR expression remained reduced. The percentage of TACI+ memory B cells were lower in RA patients after RTX compared with healthy controls (HC). BCMA expression (% and expression) did not differ between patients and HC. Relapse following B cell return appeared largely independent of the percentage of BAFFR+ or percentage of BCMA+ B cells or serum BAFF levels. The lower percentage of TACI+ memory B cells may reduce inhibitory signalling for B cell differentiation. In patients relapsing at longer periods after B cell return, recovery of the B cell pool was more complete, suggesting that selection or expansion of autoreactive B cells may be needed to precipitate relapse.

Type: Article
Title: B cell phenotypes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis relapsing after rituximab: expression of B cell-activating factor-binding receptors on B cell subsets
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/cei.13024
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1111/cei.13024
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: B lymphocytes, rheumatoid arthritis, rituximab
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Inflammation
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10050955
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