Immunological Subsets Characterization in Newly Diagnosed Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis

Front Immunol. 2022 Feb 22:13:819136. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.819136. eCollection 2022.


Objectives: Using flow cytometry, we characterized myeloid, B, and T cells in patients recently diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) naive to disease-modifying therapies (DMTs).

Methods: This prospective case-control study was conducted in the tertiary MS center of Catania, Italy. Demographic/clinical data and peripheral bloods were collected from 52 naive patients recently diagnosed with RRMS and sex/age-matched healthy controls (HCs) in a 2:1 ratio. We performed flow cytometry on isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells to assess immune cell subsets differences between RMMS patients and HCs. We explored the biomarker potential of cell subsets using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and relative area under the curve (AUC) analyses.

Results: Monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (Mo-MDSCs CD14+/HLADR-/low) and inflammatory monocytes (CD14+CD16+) displayed higher frequencies in RRMS patients when compared with HCs (p <.05). A lower percentage of B-unswitched memory cells was observed in RRMS patients when compared with HCs (p = .026). T cells had a higher frequency of T-helper CD4+ cells and their subset, CD4+CD161+, in RRMS patients when compared with HCs (p <.001). ROC analyses revealed an AUC >70% for Mo-MDSCs CD14+/HLADR-/low and inflammatory CD14+CD16+, T-helper CD3+CD4+, and T-helper CD4+CD161+.

Conclusions: Patients with a recent RRMS diagnosis and naive to DMTs, showed peculiar myeloid, B-, and T-cell immunophenotypes.

Keywords: B cells; T cells; immunophenotype; multiple sclerosis; myeloid cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear
  • Multiple Sclerosis*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting* / drug therapy