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ECTRIMS 2023 | Impact of ocrelizumab on CD8 T-cells in MS patients

Gianmarco Abbadessa, MD, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Naples, Italy, describes a study examining the effect of anti-CD20 therapies, primarily used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), on immune subsets, specifically focusing on CD8 T-cells. Given the interplay between B-cells and CD8 T-cells, and CD8 cells’ pivotal role in MS pathogenesis, the research sought to understand how these therapies might influence CD8 T-cell dynamics. Surprisingly, despite a minuscule proportion of CD8 T-cells expressing CD20, there was a discernible impact on the CD8 T-cell compartment. This included a decrease in activated memory CD8 T-cells and a down-regulation of their activation markers. Interestingly, while general viral reactivity remained unaltered, there was a noticeable decrease in Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) specific CD8 T-cell reactivity, a virus often linked to MS. The exact mechanisms behind these findings remain unclear, warranting further investigation. This interview took place at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Congress 2023 in Milan, Italy.

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