The chief therapeutic mechanism of fingolimod in multiple sclerosis (MS) is considered to be sequestration of pathogenic lymphocytes into secondary lymphoid tissues. B cells have recently been recognized as important immune regulators in MS. In this study, the effects of fingolimod on B cells in MS patients were analyzed. MS patients treated with fingolimod (MS-F) had a significantly lower number of B cells in the circulation. The remaining B cells in the blood of MS-F had a reduced proportion of memory B cells and an increased proportion of naïve B cells, expressed lower levels of the costimulatory molecule CD80, and produced less tumor necrosis factor-α and more interleukin-10. These observations in MS-F were based on an increased proportion of the transitional B-cell subpopulation within the naïve B-cell compartment. The observed findings in B cells of MS-F might be related to the therapeutic effect of this drug in MS.
Keywords: B cells; CD80; Cytokine; Fingolimod; Multiple sclerosis; Transitional B cells.
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