Antibody forming cells and plasmablasts in peripheral blood in CVID patients after vaccination

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Year of publication 2011
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Vaccine
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Medicine

Field Immunology
Keywords CVID Tetanus toxoid Pneumococcal vaccine ELISPOT
Description Common variable immunodeficiency (CVID), the most frequent primary antibody disorder, is characterized by hypogammaglobulinaemia and impaired antibody production. Poor vaccination response is essential for the diagnosis of CVID. Their under laying defects remain to be elucidated. Routine determination of antibody production in serum from CVID patients after vaccination and investigation of B cell function in vivo is complicated due to substitution therapy. Therefore we investigated antibody production on the B-cell level by ELISPOT and characterized changes in B-cell subpopulations in CVID patients, including plasmablasts, in peripheral blood by flow cytometry after vaccination for specification of the diagnosis. Thirty-seven CVID patients and eighty healthy volunteers were immunized with tetanus toxoid and pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines. Specific antibody levels and B cell subpopulations were measured before vaccination and on day 7 after vaccination by ELISPOT assay and flow cytometry respectively. Of the thirty-seven well defined CVID patients studied, thirty lacked detectable spot forming cells producing specific IgG, IgA or IgM antibodies against employed vaccines and seven had only weak responses compared to controls. In the control group, an increase in circulating plasmablasts on day 7 post immunization corresponded with the appearance of antibody forming cells. In contrast, CVID patients failed to increase plasmablasts significantly in peripheral blood after antigen challenge. Our findings indicate that CVID patients have a block in terminal B-cell differentiation and that flow based assessment of plasmablasts in peripheral blood after vaccination serves as a surrogate diagnostic marker for assessing in vivo antibody responses in patients suspected to have CVID.
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