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PO.2.36 Characterization of peripheral blood b-cell subset in untreated patients with systemic lupus erythematosus
  1. E Gerasimova,
  2. D Tabakov,
  3. T Popkova and
  4. A Avdeeva
  1. V.A.Nasonova Research Institute of Rheumatology, Moscow, Russian Federation


Background B-cells play a critical role in the regulation of systemic autoimmune diseases pathogenesis, that extends beyond antibodies production.

Objectives To examine B-cells subsets in peripheral blood of patients (pts) with untreated systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). To analyze the association between B-cell subsets and disease-specific autoantibodies.

Methods Thirty six untreated SLE pts (31F/5M) were enrolled. SLE pts had median age of 37 years (range) (32–41), disease duration of 3.5 years (1–11), SLEDAI 2K of 7 (4–8), BILAG of 14,5 (10,2–23).

The control group consisted of 29 volunteers (23F/6M, median age 38 [35; 48] years). CD19+B cells, memory B cells (CD19+CD27+), switched memory B cells (CD19+ CD27+IgD-), non-switched memory B cells (CD19+CD27+ IgD+), naive (CD19+CD27-IgD+), double-negative (CD19+CD27-IgD-), transitional (CD19+CD38++CD10+IgD+CD27-) B cells, and plasmablasts (CD19+CD38+++CD27+IgD-CD20-) were analyzed using multicolor flow cytometry.

Results The absolute counts of memory B cells (CD19+CD27+), switched memory B cells (CD19+CD27+IgD-), transitional B cells (CD19+CD38++CD10+IgD+CD27-), and plasmablasts (CD19+CD38+++CD27+IgD-CD20-) were higher in untreated pts with SLE compared to healthy donors, p<0,01 for all cases. The absolute counts of double-negative B cells (CD19+CD27-IgD-) were lower in SLE pts than in donors, p=0,03 (Table 1).

At significant correlation was found in SLE pts between anti-dsDNA levels and absolute counts of the following B-cell subtypes: CD19+B cells (r=0,72), memory B cells (CD19+CD27+) (r=0,76), switched memory B cells (CD19+ CD27+IgD-) (r=0,75) and naive B cells (CD19+CD27-IgD+) (r=0,73), p<0,01 for all cases. In addition, in SLE pts the a-Sm levels correlated with absolute counts of the switched memory B cells (CD19+ CD27+IgD-) (r=0,98; (r=0,51, p<0,01), antibodies to cardiolipin (aCL) IgG levels with absolute counts of CD19+B cells (r=0,64, p=0,02), and with naive B cells (CD19+CD27-IgD+) (r=0,59, p=0,01).

Conclusions Immunophenotyping showed an increase in the absolute counts of memory B cells (CD19+CD27+), switched memory B cells (CD19+CD27+IgD-), transitional B cells (CD19+CD38++CD10+IgD+CD27-), and plasmablasts (CD19+CD38+++CD27+IgD-CD20-) in untreated SLE compared with healthy subjects. Positive correlation between the counts of B-cells subsets and values of disease-specific autoantibodies (anti-dsDNA, a-Sm, aCL IgG) suggests that B-lymphocytes may be involved in SLE pathogenesis.

This work was supported by the Russian Science Foundation (Grant N 22–25-00358).

Abstract PO.2.36 Table 1

Levels of the blood B-cell subsets in SLE pts and in control

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