Unidade de Gestão Operacional de Citometria, Serviço de Patologia Clínica, Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra, Praceta Mota Pinto, 3001-301 Coimbra, Portugal; Coimbra Institute for Clinical and Biomedical Research (iCBR), Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Coimbra, Polo III - Health Sciences Campus Azinhaga Santa Comba, Celas, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal; Escola Superior de Tecnologia da Saúde de Coimbra, Rua 5 de Outubro, 3046-854 Coimbra, Portugal. Electronic address: [Email]
Our aim was to quantify circulating B cell subsets; immature/transitional, naïve, CD27- and CD27+ memory cells and plasmablasts, in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients treated with IFN-β. The most relevant findings were a significant increase of plasmablasts and a decrease of immature/transitional B cells, resulting in a decreased ratio between those cells in relapse RRMS, together with an increase of CD27- and CD27+IgM+ memory B cell subsets in both phases of the disease. These alterations point to an active B cell response, particularly in relapse, and the above referred ratio could constitute a good biomarker of relapse in patients that underwent IFN-β treatment.