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Effect of Natalizumab on Circulating CD4(+) T-Cells in Multiple Sclerosis

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In multiple sclerosis (MS), treatment with the monoclonal antibody natalizumab effectively reduces the formation of acute lesions in the central nervous system (CNS). Natalizumab binds the integrin very late antigen (VLA)-4, expressed on the surface of immune cells, and inhibits VLA-4 dependent transmigration of circulating immune-cells across the vascular endothelium into the CNS. Recent studies suggested that natalizumab treated MS patients have an increased T-cell pool in the blood compartment which may be selectively enriched in activated T-cells. Proposed causes are sequestration of activated T-cells due to reduced extravasation of activated and pro-inflammatory T-cells or due to induction of VLA-4 mediated co-stimulatory signals by natalizumab. In this study we examined how natalizumab treatment altered the distribution of effector and memory T-cell subsets in the blood compartment and if T-cells in general or myelin-reactive T-cells in particular showed signs of increased immune activation. Furthermore we examined the effects of natalizumab on CD4(+) T-cell responses to myelin in vitro. Natalizumab-treated MS patients had significantly increased numbers of effector-memory T-cells in the blood. In T-cells from natalizumab-treated MS patients, the expression of TNF-α mRNA was increased whereas the expression of fourteen other effector cytokines or transcription factors was unchanged. Natalizumab-treated MS patients had significantly decreased expression of the co-stimulatory molecule CD134 on CD4(+)CD26(HIGH) T-cells, in blood, and natalizumab decreased the expression of CD134 on MBP-reactive CD26(HIGH)CD4(+) T-cells in vitro. Otherwise CD4(+) T-cells from natalizumab-treated and untreated MS patients showed similar responses to MBP. In conclusion natalizumab treatment selectively increased the effector memory T-cell pool but not the activation state of T-cells in the blood compartment. Myelin-reactive T-cells were not selectively increased in natalizumab treated MS.
Original languageEnglish
JournalP L o S One
Volume7
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)e47578
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

ID: 36727096