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Acute B-Cell Inhibition by Soluble Antigen Arrays is Valency-Dependent and Predicts Immunomodulation in Splenocytes

Griffin, JD;Leon, MA;Salash, JR;Shao, M;Hartwell, BL;Pickens, CJ;Sestak, JO;Berkland, C;

Antigen valency plays a fundamental role in directing the nature of an immune response to be stimulatory or tolerogenic. Soluble Antigen Arrays (SAgAs) are an antigen-specific immunotherapy that combats autoimmunity through the multivalent display of autoantigen. While mechanistic studies have shown SAgAs to induce T and B-cell anergy, the effect of SAgA valency has never been experimentally tested. Here, SAgAs of discrete antigen valencies were synthesized by click chemistry and evaluated for acute B-cell signaling inhibition as well as downstream immunomodulatory effects in splenocytes. Initial studies using the Raji B-cell line demonstrated SAgA valency dictated the extent of calcium flux. Lower valency constructs elicited the largest reductions in B-cell activation. In splenocytes from mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, the same valency-dependent effects were evident in the downregulation of the costimulatory marker CD86. The reduction of calcium flux observed in Raji B-cells correlated strongly with downregulation in splenocyte CD86 expression after 72 hours. Here, a thorough analysis of SAgA antigenic valency illustrates that low, but not monovalent, presentation of autoantigen was ideal for eliciting the most potent immunomodulatory effects.