Extended interval dosing of ocrelizumab modifies the repopulation of B cells without altering the clinical efficacy in multiple sclerosis

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BACKGROUND: Recent studies suggest that extended interval dosing of ocrelizumab, an anti-B cell therapy, does not affect its clinical effectiveness in most patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). However, it remains to be established whether certain B cell subsets are differentially repopulated after different dosing intervals and whether these subsets relate to clinical efficacy.

METHODS: We performed high-dimensional single-cell characterization of the peripheral immune landscape of patients with MS after standard (SID; n = 43) or extended interval dosing (EID; n = 37) of ocrelizumab and in non-ocrelizumab-treated (control group, CG; n = 28) patients with MS, using mass cytometry by time of flight (CyTOF).

RESULTS: The first B cells that repopulate after both ocrelizumab dosing schemes were immature, transitional and regulatory CD1d+ CD5+ B cells. In addition, we observed a higher percentage of transitional, naïve and regulatory B cells after EID in comparison with SID, but not of memory B cells or plasmablasts. The majority of repopulated B cell subsets showed an increased migratory phenotype, characterized by higher expression of CD49d, CD11a, CD54 and CD162. Interestingly, after EID, repopulated B cells expressed increased CD20 levels compared to B cells in CG and after SID, which was associated with a delayed repopulation of B cells after a subsequent ocrelizumab infusion. Finally, the number of/changes in B cell subsets after both dosing schemes did not correlate with any relapses nor progression of the disease.

CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our data highlight that extending the dosing interval of ocrelizumab does not lead to increased repopulation of effector B cells. We show that the increase of CD20 expression on B cell subsets in EID might lead to longer depletion or less repopulation of B cells after the next infusion of ocrelizumab. Lastly, even though extending the ocrelizumab interval dosing alters B cell repopulation, it does not affect the clinical efficacy of ocrelizumab in our cohort of patients with MS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number215
Pages (from-to)215
JournalJournal of neuroinflammation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • B cells
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Ocrelizumab

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