Author(s): SoutoCarneiro MM, Mahadevan V, Takada K, FritschStork R, Nanki T,
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: Disturbances in peripheral blood memory B cell subpopulations have been observed in various autoimmune diseases, but have not been fully delineated in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Additionally, the possible role of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) in regulating changes in specific peripheral blood memory B cell subsets in RA is still unclear. METHODS: The frequency and distribution of B cell subsets in the peripheral blood and synovial membrane of active RA patients with long-standing disease have been analysed. Additionally, the possible role of TNF in causing disturbances in memory B cell subsets in RA patients was assessed in a clinical trial with the specific TNF-neutralising antibody, infliximab. RESULTS: RA patients, independent of disease duration, have a significantly lower frequency of peripheral blood pre-switch IgD+CD27+ memory B cells than healthy individuals, whereas post-switch IgD-CD27+ accumulate with increased disease duration. Notably, both pre-switch IgD+CD27+ and post-switch IgD-CD27+ memory B cells accumulate in the synovial membrane of RA patients. Finally, anti-TNF therapy increased the frequency of pre-switch IgD+CD27 memory B cells in the peripheral blood. CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that decreases in peripheral blood IgD+CD27+ pre-switch memory B cells in RA reflect their accumulation in the synovial tissue. Moreover, the significant increase in the peripheral blood pre-switch memory B cells in patients who underwent specific TNF-blockade with infliximab indicates that trafficking of memory B cells into inflamed tissue in RA patients is regulated by TNF and can be corrected by neutralising TNF.
This article was published in Arthritis Res Ther
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology