Hematopoietic mobilization: Potential biomarker of response to natalizumab in multiple sclerosis

Miriam Mattoscio, Richard Nicholas, Maria P Sormani, Omar Malik, Jean S Lee, Adam D Waldman, Francesco Dazzi, Paolo A Muraro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

OBJECTIVE: To ascertain the mobilization from the bone marrow and the functional relevance of the increased number of circulating hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC) induced by the anti-α-4 integrin antibody natalizumab in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

METHODS: We evaluated CD45(low)CD34+ HSPC frequency by flow cytometry in blood from 45 natalizumab-treated patients (12 of whom were prospectively followed during the first year of treatment as part of a pilot cohort and 16 prospectively followed for validation), 10 untreated patients with MS, and 24 healthy donors. In the natalizumab-treated group, we also assessed sorted HSPC cell cycle status, T- and B-lymphocyte subpopulation frequencies (n = 29), and HSPC differentiation potential (n = 10).

RESULTS: Natalizumab-induced circulating HSPC were predominantly quiescent, suggesting recent mobilization from the bone marrow, and were capable of differentiating ex vivo. Circulating HSPC numbers were significantly increased during natalizumab, but heterogeneously, allowing the stratification of mobilizer and nonmobilizer subgroups. Nonmobilizer status was associated with persistence of disease activity during treatment. The frequency of B cells and CD103+CD8+ regulatory T cells persistently increased, more significantly in mobilizer patients, who also showed a specific naive/memory B-cell profile.

CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that natalizumab-induced circulating HSPC increase is the result of true mobilization from the bone marrow and has clinical and immunologic relevance. HSPC mobilization, associated with clinical remission and increased proportion of circulating B and regulatory T cells, may contribute to the treatment's mode of action; thus, HSPC blood counts could represent an early biomarker of responsiveness to natalizumab.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1473-82
Number of pages10
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2015

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Biomarkers
  • Female
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Mobilization
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Natalizumab
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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