Black African and Latino/a identity correlates with increased plasmablasts in MS.

TitleBlack African and Latino/a identity correlates with increased plasmablasts in MS.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsTelesford KM, Kaunzner UW, Perumal J, Gauthier SA, Wu X, Díaz I, Kruse-Hoyer M, Engel C, Marcille M, Vartanian T
JournalNeurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm
Date Published2020 Jan

OBJECTIVE: To determine the influence of self-reported Black African and Latin American identity on peripheral blood antibody-secreting cell (ASC) frequency in the context of relapsing-remitting MS.

METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, we recruited 74 subjects with relapsing-remitting MS and 24 age-, and self-reported ethno-ancestral identity-matched healthy donors (HDs) to provide peripheral blood study samples. Subjects with MS were either off therapy at the time of study draw or on monthly natalizumab therapy infusions. Using flow cytometry, we assessed peripheral blood mononuclear cells for antibody-secreting B-cell subsets.

RESULTS: When stratified by self-reported ethno-ancestry, we identified significantly elevated frequencies of circulating plasmablasts among individuals with MS identifying as Black African or Latin American relative to those of Caucasian ancestry. Ethno-ancestry-specific differences in ASC frequency were observed only among individuals with MS. By contrast, this differential was not observed among HDs. ASCs linked with poorer MS prognosis and active disease, including IgM- and class-switched CD138 subsets, were among those significantly increased.

CONCLUSION: The enhanced peripheral blood plasmablast signature revealed among Black African or Latin American subjects with MS points to distinct underlying mechanisms associated with MS immunopathogenesis. This dysregulation may contribute to the disease disparity experienced by patient populations of Black African or Latin American ethno-ancestry.

Alternate JournalNeurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm
PubMed ID31672834
PubMed Central IDPMC6865850