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Development of a Bioconjugate Platform for Modifying the Immune Response of Autoreactive Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes Involved in Type 1 Diabetes

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journal contribution
posted on 24.06.2019 by Neha Nandedkar-Kulkarni, Abhishek R. Vartak, Steven J. Sucheck, Katherine A. Wall, Anthony Quinn, Michael P. Morran, Marcia F. McInerney
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by autoimmune cell mediated destruction of pancreatic beta cells. Pancreatic beta cells are the only source of insulin in the body. T1D patients then have to depend on insulin injections for their lifetime. Insulin injection can modulate the blood sugar levels, but insulin has little effect on the autoimmune process. Altered peptide ligands (APL) derived from known autoantigens in T1D are able to induce tolerance in autoreactive cells in T1D animal models, but are currently unable to elicit this protection in humans. There is a need to improve immunogenicity of the APLs, as these short peptides can be easily degraded by enzymes in the blood. GAD546–554 is a dominant epitope recognized by autoreactive T cells in the nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse model that can cause destruction of beta cells. Alanine substitution at the eighth position of GAD546–554 peptide (APL9) induced tolerance in a GAD546–554 specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte clone. To improve the antigen presentation and endosomal escape of APL9, we developed a bioconjugate platform that consists of a liposome containing a bioconjugate of APL9 and toll-like receptor 2 ligand Pam3CysSK4 as well as an antibody against macrophage protein F4/80. APL9 bioconjugate liposome with F4/80 antibody was able to induce tolerance in a GAD 546–554 specific clone. Diabetic NOD splenocytes pretreated with APL9 bioconjugate were also not able to transfer diabetes into prediabetic NOD recipient mice. This work is beneficial to prevent T1D as an immunotherapy strategy to render autoreactive immune cells more tolerant of beta cells.