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Altered distribution of peripheral blood maturation-associated B-cell subsets in chronic alcoholism

AuthorsAlmeida, Julia ; Marcos, Miguel; Orfao, Alberto ; Laso, Francisco Javier
Chronic alcoholism
Alcoholic hepatitis
Circulating PB B-Cell subsets
Liver disease
Issue Date2015
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 39(8): 1476-1484 (2015)
Abstract[Background]: Although decreased counts of peripheral blood (PB) B cells—associated with an apparently contradictory polyclonal hypergammaglobulinemia—have been reported in chronic alcoholism, no information exists about the specific subsets of circulating B cells altered and their relationship with antibody production. Here, we analyzed for the first time the distribution of multiple maturation-associated subpopulations of PB B cells in alcoholism and its potential relationship with the onset of liver disease. [Methods]: PB samples from 35 male patients—20 had alcoholic hepatitis (AH) and 15 chronic alcoholism without liver disease (AWLD)—were studied, in parallel to 19 male healthy donors (controls). The distribution of PB B-cell subsets (immature/regulatory, naïve, CD27− and CD27+ memory B lymphocytes, and circulating plasmablasts of distinct immunoglobulin—Ig—isotypes) was analyzed by flow cytometry. [Results]: Patients with AH showed significantly decreased numbers of total PB B lymphocytes (vs. controls and AWLD), at the expense of immature, memory, and, to a lesser extent, also naïve B cells. AWLD showed reduced numbers of immature and naïve B cells (vs. controls), but higher PB counts of plasmablasts (vs. the other 2 groups). Although PB memory B cells were reduced among the patients, the percentage of surface (s)IgA+ cells (particularly CD27−/sIgA+ cells) was increased in AH, whereas both sIgG+ and sIgA+ memory B cells were significantly overrepresented in AWLD versus healthy donors. Regarding circulating plasmablasts, patients with AH only showed significantly reduced counts of sIgG+ cells versus controls. In contrast, the proportion of both sIgA+ and sIgG+ plasmablasts—from all plasmablasts—was reduced in AH and increased in AWLD (vs. the other 2 groups). [Conclusions]: AH and AWLD patients display a significantly reduced PB B-cell count, at the expense of decreased numbers of recently produced immature/regulatory B cells and naïve B cells, together with an increase in Ig-switched memory B lymphocytes and plasmablasts, particularly of IgA+ cells.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1111/acer.12783
e-issn: 1530-0277
issn: 0145-6008
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