More MS news articles for April 2002

Gene transfer of Ig-fusion proteins into B cells prevents and treats autoimmune diseases

J Immunol 2002 May 1;168(9):4788-95
Melo ME, Qian J, El-Amine M, Agarwal RK, Soukhareva N, Kang Y, Scott DW.
Holland Laboratory, Department of Immunology, American Red Cross, Rockville, MD 20855. Laboratory of Immunology, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.

Based on the tolerogenic properties of IgG carriers and B cell Ag presentation, we developed a retrovirally mediated gene expression approach for treatment of autoimmune conditions.

In this study, we show that the IgG-Ag retroviral constructs, expressing myelin basic protein (MBP) or glutamic acid decarboxylase in B cells, can be used for the treatment of murine models for multiple sclerosis and diabetes.

Transduction of syngeneic B cells with MBP-IgG leads to the amelioration of ongoing experimental allergic encephalomyelitis induced by the transfer of primed cells from PLxSJL F(1) mice with ongoing disease and could be effective even after symptoms appeared.

This effect is specific and does not involve bystander suppression because treatment with MBP-IgG does not affect disease induced after immunization with proteolipid protein immunodominant peptide plus MBP.

Interestingly, if donor B cells are derived from gld mice (Fas ligand-negative), then tolerance is not induced with a model Ag although there was no evidence for Fas ligand-mediated deletion of target T cells.

In spontaneous diabetes in nonobese diabetic mice, we were able to stop the ongoing autoimmune process by treatment at 7-10 wk with glutamic acid decarboxylase-IgG retrovirally transduced B cells, or attenuate it with B cells transduced with an insulin B chain (B9-23) epitope IgG fusion protein.

Furthermore, IgG fusion protein gene therapy can also protect primed recipients from Ag-induced anaphylactic shock, and thus does not cause immune deviation.

These results demonstrate proof of principle for future efforts to develop this approach in a clinical setting.