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Transcriptional profiling of PBMCs unravels B cell mediated immunopathogenic imprints of HCV vasculitis.

ABSTRACT: B cell depletion therapy using rituximab has been shown to be effective in achieving remission in patients with HCV-mixed cryoglobulinemic (MC) vasculitis. Previously, we have demonstrated abnormalities in peripheral immune cells involving neutrophils, chemotaxis, and innate immune activation among patients with HCV-MC vasculitis when compared to HCV patients without vasculitis. In this study, we evaluated the effect of B cell depletion therapy on transcriptional profiles of peripheral blood mononuclear cells before and after riruximab therapy, in order to unravel the pathogenic mechanism involved in HCV-MC vasculitis induced by abnormal B cell proliferation. DNA microarray analysis was performed using RNA from PBMCs from seven patients with HCV-MC vasculitis and seven normal volunteers. DNA was hybridized to Affymetrix U133A chips. After normalization, differentially expressed gene list with treatment was generated using partitional clustering. RT-PCR, flow cytometry, and enzyme immunoassay (EIA) was used to validate DNA microarray findings. Differentially expressed genes included B cells and non-B cell genes. Validation of genes using purified cell subsets demonstrated distinct effect of B cell depletion therapy on non-B cells, such as monocytes, T cells, and NK cells. Notably, B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) levels were persistently elevated in patients who subsequently relapsed. In conclusion, pathogenesis of HCV-MC vasculitis is mediated by abnormal proliferation of B cells, driven by BLyS, leading to significant effects on non-B cells in mediating symptomatology. Future therapeutics using a combination approach of B cell depletion and proliferation may be desired to achieve long-term remission.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5724854 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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