Effect of rituximab treatment on T and B cell subsets in lymph node biopsies of patients with rheumatoid arthritis
SourceRheumatology, 58, 6, (2019), pp. 1075-1085
Article / Letter to editor
Display more detailsDisplay less details
SubjectRadboudumc 5: Inflammatory diseases RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
OBJECTIVES: The exact underlying mechanism of rituximab treatment in patients with RA is poorly defined and knowledge about the effect of B cell depletion on immune cells in secondary lymphoid organs is lacking. We analysed lymphoid tissue responses to rituximab in RA patients. METHODS: Fourteen RA patients received 2 x 1000 mg rituximab intravenously, and lymph node (LN) biopsies were obtained before and 4 weeks after the first infusion. Tissues were examined by flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry and quantitative PCR. LN biopsies from five healthy individuals (HC) served as controls. RESULTS: LN biopsies of RA patients showed increased frequencies of CD21+CD23+IgDhighIgMvariable follicular B cells and CD3+CD25+CD69+ early activated, tissue resident T cells when compared with HCs. After treatment, there was incomplete depletion of LN B cells. There was a significant decrease in CD27-IgD+ naive B cells, and CD27+IgD+ unswitched memory B cells including the CD27+IgD+IgM+ subset and follicular B cells. Strikingly, CD27+IgD- switched memory B cells persisted in LN biopsies after rituximab treatment. In the T cell compartment, a significant decrease was observed in the frequency of early activated, tissue resident T cells after rituximab treatment, but late activated T cells persisted. B cell proliferation inducing cytokine IL-21 was higher expressed in LN biopsies of RA patients compared with HC and expression was not affected by rituximab treatment. CONCLUSION: Rituximab does not cure RA, possibly due to persistence of switched memory B cells in lymphoid tissues suggesting that factors promoting B cell survival and differentiation need to be additionally targeted.
This item appears in the following Collection(s)
- Non RU Publications 
Upload full text
Use your RU credentials (u/z-number and password) tolog in with SURFconextto upload a file for processing by the repository team.