Cytotoxic profile of CD3+CD20+ T cells in progressive multiple sclerosis

Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2021 Jul;52:103013. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2021.103013. Epub 2021 May 7.


Recently, it was shown that highly effective anti-CD20 therapies used for MS patients not only deplete CD20+ B cells, but also a small subset of T cells expressing CD20 surface marker (CD3+CD20+ T cells). Here we demonstrated that, in progressive MS patients, CD3+CD20+ T cells share the ability to express cytotoxic factors such as perforin and serine-protease granzyme-B (GzmB), classically associated with CD8+ T cells functionality. Beyond it, cluster analyses show that a set of activation markers and transcriptional factors related with CD8 effector program are also expressed in CD3+CD20+ T cells. Further characterization of surface and functional markers from CD3+CD20+ T subsets may be helpful for development of new therapeutic strategies mainly for progressive MS patients, as well as for assessing pathophysiological effects of highly effective anti-CD20 therapies.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD20
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive*
  • Perforin


  • Antigens, CD20
  • Perforin