Neurological Sciences

, Volume 38, Issue 7, pp 1205–1212 | Cite as

Circulating regulatory B cell subsets in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders

  • Jinming Han
  • Li Sun
  • Zhongkun Wang
  • Xueli Fan
  • Lifang Wang
  • Yang-yang Song
  • Jie Zhu
  • Tao JinEmail author
Original Article


This study analyzed the populations of three different subsets of regulatory B cells (Bregs) in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSDs) and explored the relationship between the changes in these subsets of Bregs and the severity of NMOSD. A total of 22 patients with relapsed NMOSDs before treatment were recruited in our study, along with 20 age and gender-matched healthy controls, from May 2015 to March 2016. The percentages and numbers for three different subsets of Bregs including the CD19+CD24hiCD38hi, CD19+CD24hiCD27+, and CD19+CD5+CD1dhi populations were evaluated in parallel by flow cytometry. Afterwards, correlations between the change of three different subsets of Bregs and disease severity were analyzed. We found significantly lower percentages of CD19+CD24hiCD38hi and CD19+CD5+CD1dhi Bregs in NMOSDs patients than in healthy individuals. In contrast, the CD19+CD24hiCD27+ Bregs population was significantly higher in NMOSDs patients than in healthy individuals. However, the three different Bregs subsets showed no significant correlation with expanded disability status scale (EDSS) or annualized relapse rate (ARR). Our findings suggest that the subsets of Bregs may play complex roles in the pathogenesis of NMOSDs and are not correlated with clinical disease severity. Further insights into the potential role of subsets of Bregs could increase our basic knowledge of NMOSDs pathogenesis.


Regulatory B cells (Bregs) Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSDs) Flow cytometry 



This work was supported by grants from the General Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 81671177 and 81471216), the International Science and Technology Cooperation Program of Jilin Provincial Science and Technology Development of China (No. 20150414011GH), the Norman Bethune Cultivation Plan of Jilin University (No. 2015320), the Science and Technology Program of Jilin Provincial Education Department of China (No. 2016-462), as well as the grants from the Swedish Research Council (K2013-66X-22337-01-3 and project number 2015-03005) and grants from the First Hospital, Jilin University of China.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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High resolution image (TIFF 15445 kb).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology and Neuroscience Centerthe First Hospital of Jilin UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and SocietyKarolinska InstituteStockholmSweden

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