Lymphocyte pharmacodynamics are not associated with autoimmunity or efficacy after alemtuzumab

CARE-MS I, CARE-MS II, and CAMMS03409 Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between peripheral blood lymphocyte pharmacodynamics and autoimmune adverse events (AEs) or return of disease activity in alemtuzumab-treated patients with relapsing-remitting MS. METHODS: Patients received 2 alemtuzumab courses (12 mg/d IV; 5 days at baseline, 3 days 12 months later) in the 2-year Comparison of Alemtuzumab and Rebif Efficacy in Multiple Sclerosis studies (NCT00530348 and NCT00548405) and could then receive as-needed alemtuzumab or other disease-modifying therapy in a 4-year extension (NCT00930553). Lymphocytes were phenotyped quarterly over 2 years using fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Pharmacodynamic assessments included counts of total lymphocytes, CD3+ T cells, CD4+/CD8+ T cells (total/naive/memory/regulatory [Treg]), and CD19+ B cells (total/immature/mature/memory) and ratios of CD19+ (total/immature/mature/memory) to Treg (CD4+/CD8+) counts. Assessed autoimmune AEs included immune thrombocytopenia, nephropathies, and thyroid events. Efficacy assessments included relapses, 6-month confirmed disability worsening (CDW), and MRI disease activity. RESULTS: Lymphocyte repopulation patterns, including ratios between distinct lymphocyte subsets (e.g., CD19+ to Treg cell count ratios), showed no significant differences over 2 years in patients developing/not developing autoimmune AEs, relapses, CDW, or MRI activity through 6 years following alemtuzumab. Lymphocyte kinetics were also unrelated to multiple autoimmune AEs or extreme clinical phenotypes. CONCLUSIONS: Repopulation kinetics of the evaluated peripheral lymphocyte subsets did not predict autoimmune AE occurrence or disease activity, including return of disease activity after 2 alemtuzumab courses. Further study is needed to investigate potential antigen-level markers of treatment response.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurology(R) neuroimmunology & neuroinflammation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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