Dimethyl fumarate therapy reduces memory T cells and the CNS migration potential in patients with multiple sclerosis

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Background: Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) is a disease-modifying therapy for patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). T cells are major contributors to the pathogenesis of RRMS, where they regulate the pathogenic immune response and participate in CNS lesion development. Objectives: In this study we evaluate the therapeutic effects of DMF on T cell subpopulations, their CNS migration potential and effector functions. Methods: Blood and CSF from untreated and DMF-treated patients with RRMS and healthy donors were analyzed by flow cytometry. Results: DMF reduced the prevalence of circulating proinflammatory CD4+ and CD8+ memory T cells, whereas regulatory T cells were unaffected. Furthermore, DMF reduced the frequency of CD4+ T cells expressing CNS-homing markers. In coherence, we found a reduced recruitment of CD4+ but not CD8+ T cells to CSF. We also found that monomethyl fumarate dampened T cell proliferation and reduced the frequency of TNF-α, IL-17 and IFN-γ producing T cells. Conclusion: DMF influences the balance between proinflammatory and regulatory T cells, presumably favoring a less proinflammatory environment. DMF also reduces the CNS migratory potential of CD4+ T cells whereas CD8+ T cells are less affected. Altogether, our study suggests an anti-inflammatory effect of DMF mainly on the CD4+ T cell compartment.

TidsskriftMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
StatusUdgivet - 2020

ID: 260691303