Purpose. Decreased expression of TLR homolog CD180 in peripheral blood B cells and its potential role in antibody production have been described in autoimmune diseases. Effectiveness of anti-CD20 therapy in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) and multiple sclerosis (MS) strengthens the role of B cells in the pathogenesis. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the CD180 expression of peripheral blood B cell subsets in NMOSD and MS patients and analyze the levels of natural anti-citrate synthase (CS) IgG autoantibodies and IgG antibodies induced by bacterial infections reported to play a role in the pathogenesis of NMOSD or MS. Methods. We analyzed the distribution and CD180 expression of peripheral blood B cell subsets, defined by CD19/CD27/IgD staining, and measured anti-CS IgM/G natural autoantibody and antibacterial IgG serum levels in NMOSD, RRMS, and healthy controls (HC). Results. We found decreased naïve and increased memory B cells in NMOSD compared to MS. Among the investigated four B cell subsets, CD180 expression was exclusively decreased in CD19+CD27+IgD+ nonswitched (NS) memory B cells in both NMOSD and MS compared to HC. Furthermore, the anti-CS IgM natural autoantibody serum level was lower in both NMOSD and MS. In addition, we found a tendency of higher anti-CS IgG natural autoantibody levels only in anti-Chlamydia IgG antibody-positive NMOSD and MS patients. Conclusions. Our results suggest that reduced CD180 expression of NS B cells could contribute to the deficient natural IgM autoantibody production in NMOSD and MS, whereas natural IgG autoantibody levels show an association with antibacterial antibodies.
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© 2021 Zsófia Hayden et al.