Safety and Efficacy of Antigen-Specific Regulatory T-Cell Therapy for Patients With Refractory Crohn's Disease

Department of Hepatogastroenterology and Centre d'Investigation Clinique, Huriez Hospital, Lille, France.
Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 16.72). 08/2012; 143(5):1207-1217.e2. DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2012.07.116
Source: PubMed


New therapeutic strategies are needed for patients with refractory Crohn's disease (CD). We evaluated data from the Crohn's And Treg Cells Study (CATS1) to determine the safety and efficacy of antigen-specific T-regulatory (Treg) cells for treatment of patients with refractory CD.
We performed a 12-week, open-label, multicenter, single-injection, escalating-dose, phase 1/2a clinical study in 20 patients with refractory CD. Ovalbumin-specific Treg cells (ova-Tregs) were isolated from patients' peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), exposed to ovalbumin, and administrated intravenously. Safety and efficacy were assessed using clinical and laboratory parameters. We evaluated proliferation of PBMCs in response to ovalbumin.
Injections of ova-Tregs were well tolerated, with 54 adverse events (2 related to the test reagent) and 11 serious adverse events (3 related to the test reagent, all recovered). Overall, a response, based on a reduction in Crohn's Disease Activity Index (CDAI) of 100 points, was observed in 40% of patients at weeks 5 and 8. Six of the 8 patients (75%) who received doses of 10(6) cells had a response at weeks 5 and 8, with a statistically significant reduction in CDAI. In this group, remission (based on CDAI ≤150) was observed in 3 of 8 patients (38%) at week 5 and 2 of 8 patients (25%) at week 8.
Administration of antigen-specific Tregs to patients with refractory CD (CATS1) was well tolerated and had dose-related efficacy. The ovalbumin-specific immune response correlated with clinical response, supporting immune-suppressive mechanisms of ova-Tregs. The consistency of results among different assessment methods supports the efficacy of ova-Tregs; this immune therapy approach warrants further clinical and mechanistic studies in refractory CD. Eudract, Number: 2006-004712-44.

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    • "The use of such Treg cell populations has been hampered by the low number of circulating Tregs in humans and by the need to expand large amounts of suppressive cells for clinical use. Based on the therapeutic potential of type 1 regulatory T (Tr1) cells in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) models [20] and on the possibility of generating large numbers of antigen-specific Tr1 cells in vitro[21,22], a phase I/II clinical trial in which the researchers used ovalbumin-specific type 1 regulatory T (ova-Treg) cells has been performed in severe Crohn’s disease patients with production of very promising clinical data and indications of safety and efficacy [23]. These results and the possibility of isolating and expanding functional collagen type II–specific type 1 regulatory T (Col-Treg) cell clones from RA patients [22], suggesting that Tr1 cell–based therapy could be a novel therapeutic strategy for treating patients with RA. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Regulatory T (Treg) cells play a crucial role in preventing autoimmune diseases and are an ideal target for the development of therapies designed to suppress inflammation in an antigen-specific manner. Type 1 regulatory T (Tr1) cells are defined by their capacity to produce high levels of interleukin 10 (IL-10), which contributes to their ability to suppress pathological immune responses in several settings. The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic potential of collagen type II–specific Tr1 (Col-Treg) cells in two models of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in mice. Methods Col-Treg clones were isolated and expanded from collagen-specific TCR transgenic mice. Their cytokine secretion profile and phenotype characterization were studied. The therapeutic potential of Col-Treg cells was evaluated after adoptive transfer in collagen-antibody– and collagen-induced arthritis models. The in vivo suppressive mechanism of Col-Treg clones on effector T-cell proliferation was also investigated. Results Col-Treg clones are characterized by their specific cytokine profile (IL-10highIL-4negIFN-γint) and mediate contact-independent immune suppression. They also share with natural Tregs high expression of GITR, CD39 and granzyme B. A single infusion of Col-Treg cells reduced the incidence and clinical symptoms of arthritis in both preventive and curative settings, with a significant impact on collagen type II antibodies. Importantly, injection of antigen-specific Tr1 cells decreased the proliferation of antigen-specific effector T cells in vivo significantly. Conclusions Our results demonstrate the therapeutic potential of Col-Treg cells in two models of RA, providing evidence that Col-Treg could be an efficient cell-based therapy for RA patients whose disease is refractory to current treatments.
    Arthritis Research & Therapy 05/2014; 16(3):R115. DOI:10.1186/ar4567 · 3.75 Impact Factor
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    • "In this trial OVA-specific IL-10 producing T cell clones were infused and subsequently re-challenged in vivo by feeding patients, with an egg-derived peptide. In this study safety and indirect evidences of clinical benefit were reported but no in vivo tolerance signature was observed (51). "
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    ABSTRACT: T-cell therapy after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has been used alone or in combination with immunosuppression to cure hematologic malignancies and to prevent disease recurrence. Here, we describe the outcome of patients with high-risk/advanced stage hematologic malignancies, who received T-cell depleted (TCD) haploidentical-HSCT (haplo-HSCT) combined with donor T lymphocytes pretreated with IL-10 (ALT-TEN trial). IL-10-anergized donor T cells (IL-10-DLI) contained T regulatory type 1 (Tr1) cells specific for the host alloantigens, limiting donor-vs.-host-reactivity, and memory T cells able to respond to pathogens. IL-10-DLI were infused in 12 patients with the goal of improving immune reconstitution after haplo-HSCT without increasing the risk of graft-versus-host-disease (GvHD). IL-10-DLI led to fast immune reconstitution in five patients. In four out of the five patients, total T-cell counts, TCR-Vβ repertoire and T-cell functions progressively normalized after IL-10-DLI. These four patients are alive, in complete disease remission and immunosuppression-free at 7.2 years (median follow-up) after haplo-HSCT. Transient GvHD was observed in the immune reconstituted (IR) patients, despite persistent host-specific hypo-responsiveness of donor T cells in vitro and enrichment of cells with Tr1-specific biomarkers in vivo. Gene-expression profiles of IR patients showed a common signature of tolerance. This study provides the first indication of the feasibility of Tr1 cell-based therapy and paves way for the use of these Tr1 cells as adjuvant treatment for malignancies and immune-mediated disorders.
    Frontiers in Immunology 01/2014; 5:16. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2014.00016
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    • "Furthermore, it has been suggested that Treg cells contribute to healing in addition to immunosuppression (42). Considering the translational research being pursued in the use of Treg cell immunotherapy to treat Crohn's disease (43) and graft-versus-host disease (44), our results suggest that Treg cells may also be of critical importance when exploring future therapeutic avenues for treating autoimmune-mediated myositis. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Myositis is associated with muscle-targeted inflammation and is observed in some Treg cell–deficient mouse models. Because an autoimmune pathogenesis has been strongly implicated, the aim of this study was to investigate the hypothesis that abnormal exposure to muscle antigens, as observed in muscle injury, can induce autoimmune-mediated myositis in susceptible hosts. Methods FoxP3 mutant (scurfy) mice were mated to synaptotagmin VII (Syt VII) mutant mice, which resulted in a new mouse strain that combines impaired membrane resealing with Treg cell deficiency. Lymphocyte preparations from double-mutant mice were adoptively transferred intraperitoneally, with or without purified Treg cells, into recombination-activating gene 1 (RAG-1)–null recipients. Lymph node cells from mice with the FoxP3 mutation were transferred into RAG-1–null mice either 1) intraperitoneally in conjunction with muscle homogenate or purified myosin protein or 2) intramuscularly with or without cotransfer of purified Treg cells. ResultsFoxP3-deficient mouse lymph node cells transferred in conjunction with myosin protein or muscle homogenate induced robust skeletal muscle inflammation. The infiltrates consisted predominantly of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, a limited number of macrophages, and no B cells. Significant inflammation was also seen in similar experiments using lymph node cells from FoxP3/Syt VII double-mutant mice but was absent in experiments using adoptive transfer of FoxP3 mutant mouse cells alone. The cotransfer of Treg cells completely suppressed myositis. Conclusion These data, derived from a new, reproducible model, demonstrate the critical roles of Treg cell deficiency and aberrant muscle antigen exposure in the priming of autoreactive cells to induce myositis. This mouse system has multifaceted potential for examining the interplay in vivo between tissue injury and autoimmunity.
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 12/2013; 65(12). DOI:10.1002/art.38184 · 7.76 Impact Factor
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