The major therapeutic goal for immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is to restore normal platelet counts using drugs to promote platelet production or by interfering with mechanisms responsible for platelet destruction. Eighty percent of patients with ITP possess anti–integrin αIIbβ3 IgG autoantibodies that cause platelet opsonization and phagocytosis. The spleen is considered the primary site of autoantibody production by autoreactive B cells and platelet destruction. The immediate failure in approximately 50% of patients to recover a normal platelet count after anti-CD20 rituximab-mediated B cell depletion and splenectomy suggests that autoreactive, rituximab-resistant, IgG-secreting B cells (IgG-SCs) reside in other anatomical compartments. We analyzed more than 3,300 single IgG-SCs from spleen, bone marrow, and/or blood of 27 patients with ITP, revealing high interindividual variability in affinity for αIIbβ3, with variations over 3 logs. IgG-SC dissemination and range of affinities were, however, similar for each patient. Longitudinal analysis of autoreactive IgG-SCs upon treatment with the anti-CD38 mAb daratumumab demonstrated variable outcomes, from complete remission to failure with persistence of high-affinity anti–αIIbβ3 IgG-SCs in the bone marrow. This study demonstrates the existence and dissemination of high-affinity autoreactive plasma cells in multiple anatomical compartments of patients with ITP that may cause the failure of current therapies.
Pablo Canales-Herrerias, Etienne Crickx, Matteo Broketa, Aurélien Sokal, Guilhem Chenon, Imane Azzaoui, Alexis Vandenberghe, Angga Perima, Bruno Iannascoli, Odile Richard-Le Goff, Carlos Castrillon, Guillaume Mottet, Delphine Sterlin, Ailsa Robbins, Marc Michel, Patrick England, Gael A. Millot, Klaus Eyer, Jean Baudry, Matthieu Mahevas, Pierre Bruhns