Anja Steinmaurer, Isabella Wimmer, Thomas Berger, Paulus S Rommer and Johann Sellner* Pages 437 - 444 ( 8 )
Significant progress has been made to understand the immunopathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) over recent years. Successful clinical trials with CD20-depleting monoclonal antibodies have corroborated the fundamental role of B cells in the pathogenesis of MS and reinforced the notion that cells of the B cell lineage are an attractive treatment target. Therapeutic inhibition of Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK), an enzyme involved in B cell and myeloid cell activation and function, is regarded as a next-generation approach that aims to attenuate both errant innate and adaptive immune functions. Moreover, brain-penetrant BTK inhibitors may impact compartmentalized inflammation and neurodegeneration within the central nervous system by targeting brain-resident B cells and microglia, respectively. Preclinical studies in animal models of MS corroborated an impact of BTK inhibition on meningeal inflammation and cortical demyelination. Notably, BTK inhibition attenuated the antigen-presenting capacity of B cells and the generation of encephalitogenic T cells. Evobrutinib, a selective oral BTK inhibitor, has been tested recently in a phase 2 study of patients with relapsing-remitting MS. The study met the primary endpoint of a significantly reduced cumulative number of Gadolinium-enhancing lesions under treatment with evobrutinib compared to placebo treatment. Thus, the results of ongoing phase 2 and 3 studies with evobrutinib, fenobrutinib, and tolebrutinib in relapsing-remitting and progressive MS are eagerly awaited. This review article introduces the physiological role of BTK, summarizes the pre-clinical and trial evidence, and addresses the potential beneficial effects of BTK inhibition in MS.
Multiple sclerosis, immunopathogenesis, B cell, Bruton's tyrosine kinase, disease-modifying therapy, immunomodulation, demyelination.
Department of Neurology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Department of Neurology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Department of Neurology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Department of Neurology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Department of Neurology, Landesklinikum Mistelbach-Gänserndorf, Mistelbach