Cytokine Switch and Bystander Suppression of Autoimmune Responses to Multiple Antigens in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis by a Single Recombinant T-Cell Receptor Ligand

Neuroimmunology Research, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Portland, Oregon 97239, USA.
The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.34). 04/2009; 29(12):3816-23. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5812-08.2009
Source: PubMed


Recombinant T-cell receptor ligands (RTLs) can reverse clinical and histological signs of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in an antigen-specific manner, and are currently in clinical trials for treatment of subjects with multiple sclerosis (MS). Antigen specificity of RTL raises the question as to whether this treatment would be successful in MS patients where target antigens are unknown. Using spinal cord homogenate or combinations of two different peptides to induce disease, we found that treatment with single RTL could reverse EAE as long as targeted T-cells were present. Therapy with three different RTLs each caused a significant reduction in IL-17 and increases in IL-10 and IL-13 in peptide-activated splenocytes, reduced proliferation of both cognate and bystander specificities of lymph node cells, and reduced inflammatory lesions and secreted IL-17 and IL-2 from peptide-activated spinal cord cells. These results show that treatment with single RTLs can induce a cytokine switch in cognate T-cells that inhibits both the target and bystander T-cells, providing new evidence for the potential applicability of RTL therapy in MS.

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Available from: Arthur A Vandenbark
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    • "A human HLA-DR2 -derived RTL was recently used successfully in a phase I clinical trial for treating multiple sclerosis [48]]]]. Therapeutic activity directed against a single determinant (e.g., IRBP) as well as bystander effects against T cells reactive against other determinants (other IRBP determinants and retinal antigens) could explain how RTL220 might regulate multiple T-cell specificities that could contribute to protection [17,49]. Only RTLs with a covalently bound peptide, not empty RTL101 or pathogenic IRBP peptide alone, ameliorate retinal degeneration. "
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    ABSTRACT: Degenerative retinopathies, including retinitis pigmentosa, age-related retinal degeneration, autoimmune retinopathy, and related diseases affect millions of people around the world. Currently, there is no effective treatment for most of those diseases. We investigated systemic recombinant T-cell receptor ligand (RTL) immunotherapy for preventing retinal degeneration and vascular damage in the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat model of retinal degeneration. RCS rats were treated with RTL220 tethered to interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein (IRBP) peptide or control RTL101 without peptide by subcutaneous administration starting at the onset of photoreceptor degeneration or after the degenerative process began daily or every other day and performed for a 13-week period. The retinal cross sections and whole mounts were prepared to determine histopathology, leaking vessels, and formation of vascular complexes. Immunofluorescent studies evaluated microglia and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 chemokine in treated retinas. Optokinetic studies were performed to determine visual acuity. Systemic treatment with RTL220 prevented decreases in outer nuclear layer (ONL) thickness and showed a significantly higher number of nuclei than control rats treated with RTL101 or vehicle. RTL220 was also effective in protecting retinal vasculature from leakage and the formation of abnormal vascular complexes even when the treatment was administered after the degenerative process was initiated. Visual acuity measurement showed that rats treated with RTL220 performed significantly better than those with RTL101 and untreated age-matched controls at P60 and P90. Biodistribution studies showed that RTL220 cleared slowly from the administration site. Moreover, RTL220-treated retinas had a significantly reduced number of activated microglia in the subretinal space, decreased monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 production in the retina, inhibited T-cell responses, and reduced anti-interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein autoantibody titers. Treatment with the control RTL101 (without a specific peptide tethered) or vehicle alone did not inhibit microglia activation or protect photoreceptors or vasculature. RTL therapy augmented photoreceptor cell survival, protected vasculature, and increased visual function in the RTL rat. Targeting chronic autoimmunity with RTLs can be an effective therapeutic alternative in delaying retinal degeneration. Subcutaneous delivery of RTLs alone or combined with other drugs could be an attractive option for long-term therapy for retinal degenerative diseases.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · Molecular vision
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    • "Previous studies from our laboratory have established the ability of RTL constructs to treat EAE in several different rat and mouse models [2], [3], [4], [15], [16], [17]. In all the models tested, cognate RTL when used to treat EAE at onset induced rapid remission from clinical EAE which is associated with resolution of CNS inflammation. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recombinant T cell receptor ligands (RTLs) that target encephalitogenic T-cells can reverse clinical and histological signs of EAE, and are currently in clinical trials for treatment of multiple sclerosis. To evaluate possible regulatory mechanisms, we tested effects of RTL therapy on expression of pathogenic and effector T-cell maturation markers, CD226, T-bet and CD44, by CD4+ Th1 cells early after treatment of MOG-35-55 peptide-induced EAE in C57BL/6 mice. We showed that 1-5 daily injections of RTL551 (two-domain I-A(b) covalently linked to MOG-35-55 peptide), but not the control RTL550 ("empty" two-domain I-A(b) without a bound peptide) or Vehicle, reduced clinical signs of EAE, prevented trafficking of cells outside the spleen, significantly reduced the frequency of CD226 and T-bet expressing CD4+ T-cells in blood and inhibited expansion of CD44 expressing CD4+ T-cells in blood and spleen. Concomitantly, RTL551 selectively reduced CNS inflammatory lesions, absolute numbers of CNS infiltrating T-bet expressing CD4+ T-cells and IL-17 and IFN-γ secretion by CNS derived MOG-35-55 reactive cells cultured ex vivo. These novel results demonstrate that a major effect of RTL therapy is to attenuate Th1 specific changes in CD4+ T-cells during EAE and prevent expansion of effector T-cells that mediate clinical signs and CNS inflammation in EAE.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · PLoS ONE
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    • "RTLs have been shown to reduce T cell-driven encephalitogenicity and both clinical and histological signs of EAE[2]. Previous studies suggested that RTLs confer a therapeutic benefit via the downregulation of T cell-mediated inflammation[20] and by modifying the permeability of the blood-brain barrier in a murine model of EAE[21] or ischemic stroke[22]. RTLs were found to decrease the levels of systemic chemokines and adhesion molecules on the CNS endothelium as well as cytokines that switch on anti-inflammatory effectors rather than increasing antibody production by B cells[21]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recombinant T cell receptor ligands (RTLs) are bio-engineered molecules that may serve as novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of neuroinflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS). RTLs contain membrane distal α1 plus β1 domains of class II major histocompatibility complex linked covalently to specific peptides that can be used to regulate T cell responses and inhibit experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). The mechanisms by which RTLs impede local recruitment and retention of inflammatory cells in the CNS, however, are not completely understood. We have recently shown that RTLs bind strongly to B cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells, but not to T cells, in an antigenic-independent manner, raising the question whether peripheral blood cells express a distinct RTL-receptor. Our study was designed to characterize the molecular mechanisms by which RTLs bind human blood platelets, and the ability of RTL to modulate platelet function. Our data demonstrate that human blood platelets support binding of RTL. Immobilized RTL initiated platelet intracellular calcium mobilization and lamellipodia formation through a pathway dependent upon Src and PI3 kinases signaling. The presence of RTL in solution reduced platelet aggregation by collagen, while treatment of whole blood with RTL prolonged occlusive thrombus formation on collagen. Platelets, well-known regulators of hemostasis and thrombosis, have been implicated in playing a major role in inflammation and immunity. This study provides the first evidence that blood platelets express a functional RTL-receptor with a putative role in modulating pathways of neuroinflammation.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · Journal of Neuroinflammation
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