Neuron-binding antibody responses are associated with Black ethnicity in multiple sclerosis during natalizumab treatment.

TitleNeuron-binding antibody responses are associated with Black ethnicity in multiple sclerosis during natalizumab treatment.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsTelesford KM, Smith C, Mettlen M, Davis MB, Cowell L, Kittles R, Vartanian T, Monson N
JournalBrain Commun
Date Published2023

Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory degenerative condition of the central nervous system that may result in debilitating disability. Several studies over the past twenty years suggest that multiple sclerosis manifests with a rapid, more disabling disease course among individuals identifying with Black or Latin American ethnicity relative to those of White ethnicity. However, very little is known about immunologic underpinnings that may contribute to this ethnicity-associated discordant clinical severity. Given the importance of B cells to multiple sclerosis pathophysiology, and prior work showing increased antibody levels in the cerebrospinal fluid of Black-identifying, compared to White-identifying multiple sclerosis patients, we conducted a cohort study to determine B cell subset dynamics according to both self-reported ethnicity and genetic ancestry over time. Further, we determined relationships between ethnicity, ancestry, and neuron-binding IgG levels. We found significant associations between Black ethnicity and elevated frequencies of class-switched B cell subsets, including memory B cells; double negative two B cells; and antibody-secreting cells. The frequencies of these subsets positively correlated with West African genetic ancestry. We also observed significant associations between Black ethnicity and increased IgG binding to neurons. Our data suggests significantly heightened T cell-dependent B cell responses exhibiting increased titres of neuron-binding antibodies among individuals with multiple sclerosis identifying with the Black African diaspora. Factors driving this immunobiology may promote the greater demyelination, central nervous system atrophy and disability more often experienced by Black-, and Latin American-identifying individuals with multiple sclerosis.

Alternate JournalBrain Commun
PubMed ID37601407
PubMed Central IDPMC10433937