Background: Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is a disease-modifying drug for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Among others, DMF impedes immune activation by shifting the balance between inflammatory and regulatory cell types and by inducing apoptosis-triggered lymphopenia. Although the decrease in lymphocyte count is an early effect of the drug in several patients, the long-term impact on lymphocyte subsets is largely unknown.Methods: We performed a 2-years observational study on total lymphocyte count and subsets thereof by flow cytometry of peripheral blood of 38 multiple sclerosis patients in treatment with DMF. Data were collected at the beginning and after 3, 6, 12, and 24 months of therapy.Results: Total lymphocyte count decreased in relation to time of exposure to DMF. Mean absolute B cell count decreased by 34.1%(p < 0.001) within the first 3months of therapy and then remained stable over time. Mean absolute CD3(+) T cells count decrement reached 47.5% after 12 months of treatment ( p < 0.001). NK cells count showed a heterogeneous trend, increasing by 85.9%( p < 0.001) after 2 years of treatment. CD4(+) T cells and CD8(+) T cells substantially decreased, with a significant increase of CD4(+)/CD8(+) ratio during the first year of therapy.Conclusions: NK cells showed a heterogeneous behavior during DMF treatment with a significant increase over time. Since NK cells may also have a regulatory effect on immune system modulation, their increase during DMF treatment might play a role in the efficacy and safety of the drug.

Increased NK Cell Count in Multiple Sclerosis Patients Treated With Dimethyl Fumarate: A 2-Year Longitudinal Study

Marastoni, Damiano;PISANI, ANNA ISABELLA;Crescenzo, Francesco;Zuco, Carmela;Magliozzi, Roberta;Monaco, Salvatore;Calabrese, Massimiliano
2019-01-01

Abstract

Background: Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is a disease-modifying drug for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Among others, DMF impedes immune activation by shifting the balance between inflammatory and regulatory cell types and by inducing apoptosis-triggered lymphopenia. Although the decrease in lymphocyte count is an early effect of the drug in several patients, the long-term impact on lymphocyte subsets is largely unknown.Methods: We performed a 2-years observational study on total lymphocyte count and subsets thereof by flow cytometry of peripheral blood of 38 multiple sclerosis patients in treatment with DMF. Data were collected at the beginning and after 3, 6, 12, and 24 months of therapy.Results: Total lymphocyte count decreased in relation to time of exposure to DMF. Mean absolute B cell count decreased by 34.1%(p < 0.001) within the first 3months of therapy and then remained stable over time. Mean absolute CD3(+) T cells count decrement reached 47.5% after 12 months of treatment ( p < 0.001). NK cells count showed a heterogeneous trend, increasing by 85.9%( p < 0.001) after 2 years of treatment. CD4(+) T cells and CD8(+) T cells substantially decreased, with a significant increase of CD4(+)/CD8(+) ratio during the first year of therapy.Conclusions: NK cells showed a heterogeneous behavior during DMF treatment with a significant increase over time. Since NK cells may also have a regulatory effect on immune system modulation, their increase during DMF treatment might play a role in the efficacy and safety of the drug.
2019
cell count; dimethyl fumarate; lymphocyte subsets; lymphopenia; multiple sclerosis; natural killer cells
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/998553
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