Molecular Therapy - Methods And Clinical Development
Autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) are typified by the misrecognition of self-antigen and the clonal expansion of autoreactive T cells. Antigen-specific immunotherapies (antigen-SITs) have long been explored as a means to desensitize patients to offending self-antigen(s) with the potential to retolerize the immune response. Soluble antigen arrays (SAgAs) are composed of hyaluronic acid (HA) cografted with disease-specific autoantigen (proteolipid protein peptide) and an ICAM-1 inhibitor peptide (LABL). SAgAs were designed as an antigen-SIT that codeliver peptides to suppress experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a murine model of MS. Codelivery of antigen and cell adhesion inhibitor (LABL) conjugated to HA was essential for SAgA treatment of EAE. Individual SAgA components or mixtures thereof reduced proinflammatory cytokines in cultured splenocytes from EAE mice; however, these treatments showed minimal to no in vivo therapeutic effect in EAE mice. Thus, carriers that codeliver antigen and a secondary context signal (e.g., LABL) in vivo may be an important design criteria to consider when designing antigen-SIT for autoimmune therapy.