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Anti-PEG IgM Is a Major Contributor to the Accelerated Blood Clearance of Polyethylene Glycol-Conjugated Protein

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journal contribution
posted on 06.07.2015 by Yu Mima, Yosuke Hashimoto, Taro Shimizu, Hiroshi Kiwada, Tatsuhiro Ishida
Limited therapeutic efficacy of polyethylene glycol-conjugated (PEGylated) protein drugs has been recently reported in animals and human following repeat injections. Since there are reports that an accelerated blood clearance (ABC) phenomenon is caused by repeated injection of PEGylated liposome, there is an assumption that PEGylated proteins lose their long circulating property when they are injected repeatedly due to the induction of anti-PEG antibody. Although induction of anti-PEG antibody by PEGylated protein has been reported, there is little evidence of accelerated blood clearance of PEGylated protein upon repeated injection. Herein, we investigated the blood concentration of PEGylated ovalbumin (PEG-OVA), a model PEGylated protein, upon its repeated injection. A single intravenous administration of PEG-OVA elicited an anti-PEG IgM response but not anti-PEG IgG response, while the administration did not elicit antibody against OVA. At 24 h postinjection of test PEG-OVA, although control mice showed 41.6% dose of PEG-OVA in blood, the mice pretreated with PEG-OVA showed rapid clearance of test PEG-OVA from blood and undetectable level of PEG-OVA. Interestingly, the anti-PEG IgM induced by PEGylated liposome did not affect the blood concentration of subsequent dose of PEG-OVA. Our result suggests that anti-PEG IgM is a major contributor to the accelerated blood clearance of PEG-conjugated protein, but the presence of anti-PEG IgM in blood circulation does not necessarily affect circulating property of entire PEGylated materials.