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B-cell frequencies and immunoregulatory phenotypes in myeloproliferative neoplasms: influence of ruxolitinib, interferon-α2, or combination treatment

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OBJECTIVE: Given a proposed role for PD-L1+ and IL-10-producing B-cell subsets in promoting certain cancers, we sought to characterize the frequency and phenotype of B cells in patients with chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and the influence of ruxolitinib and interferon-α2 therapy.

METHODS: We analyzed B-cell frequencies and phenotype in patients with MPNs (n=107), before and during treatment with ruxolitinib (n=29), interferon-α2 (n=21), or the two drugs in combination (COMBI) (n=42) and healthy donors (HDs) (n=52) using flow cytometry.

RESULTS: Myelofibrosis patients had lower lymphocyte counts and proportions of B cells than patients with essential thrombocytosis or polycythemia vera and HDs. The B-cell count correlated inversely with JAK2-V617F allele burden and spleen size and increased after ruxolitinib or COMBI treatment. The proportions of PD-L1+ B cells and PD-1+ B cells were significantly higher in patients with myelofibrosis or polycythemia vera than in HDs and decreased during ruxolitinib and COMBI treatment. The proportions of TNF-α+ and IL-6+ B cells were elevated in myelofibrosis patients. The proportion of IL-6+ B cells decreased, and the proportion of IL-10+ B cells increased during ruxolitinib treatment.

CONCLUSION: B-cell frequency and phenotype were altered in MPN patients. Ruxolitinib therapy had marked effects on both frequency and phenotype. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Haematology
Volume103
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)351-361
ISSN0902-4441
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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