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Haematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Results in Extensive Remodelling of the Clonal T Cell Repertoire in Multiple Sclerosis


Autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) is a vital therapeutic option for patients with highly active multiple sclerosis (MS). Rates of remission suggest AHSCT is the most effective form of immunotherapy in controlling the disease. Despite an evolving understanding of the biology of immune reconstitution following AHSCT, the mechanism by which AHSCT enables sustained disease remission beyond the period of lymphopenia remains to be elucidated. Auto-reactive T cells are considered central to MS pathogenesis. Here, we analyse T cell reconstitution for 36 months following AHSCT in a cohort of highly active MS patients. Through longitudinal analysis of sorted naive and memory T cell clones, we establish that AHSCT induces profound changes in the dominant T cell landscape of both CD4+ and CD8+ memory T cell clones. Lymphopenia induced homeostatic proliferation is followed by clonal attrition; with only 19% of dominant CD4 (p <0.025) and 13% of dominant CD8 (p <0.005) clones from the pre-transplant repertoire detected at 36 months. Recovery of a thymically-derived CD4 naive T cell repertoire occurs at 12 months and is ongoing at 36 months, however diversity of the naive populations is not increased from baseline suggesting the principal mechanism of durable remission from MS after AHSCT relates to depletion of putative auto-reactive clones. In a cohort of MS patients expressing the MS risk allele HLA DRB1*15:01, public clones are probed as potential biomarkers of disease. AHSCT appears to induce sustained periods of disease remission with dynamic changes in the clonal T cell repertoire out to 36 months post-transplant.

Type Journal
ISBN 1664-3224 (Electronic) 1664-3224 (Linking)
Authors Massey, J.; Jackson, K.; Singh, M.; Hughes, B.; Withers, B.; Ford, C.; Khoo, M.; Hendrawan, K.; Zaunders, J.; Charmeteau-De Muylder, B.; Cheynier, R.; Luciani, F.; Ma, D.; Moore, J.; Sutton, I.
Publisher Name Frontiers in Immunology
Published Date 2022-02-28
Published Volume 13
Published Pages 798300
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.3389/fimmu.2022.798300
URL link to publisher's version