Redirecting Therapeutic T Cells against Myelin-Specific T Lymphocytes Using a Humanized Myelin Basic Protein-Hla-Dr2- Chimeric Receptor

Moisini, I.; Nguyen, P.; Fugger, L.; Geiger, T.L.

The Journal of Immunology 180(5): 3601-3611


DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.180.5.3601
Accession: 068490967

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Therapies that Ag-specifically target pathologic T lymphocytes responsible for multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases would be expected to have improved therapeutic indices compared with Ag-nonspecific therapies. We have developed a cellular immunotherapy that uses chimeric receptors to selectively redirect therapeutic T cells against myelin basic protein (MBP)-specific T lymphocytes implicated in MS. We generated two heterodimeric receptors that genetically link the human MBP84-102 epitope to HLA-DR2 and either incorporate or lack a TCRzeta signaling domain. The Ag-MHC domain serves as a bait, binding the TCR of MBP-specific target cells. The zeta signaling region stimulates the therapeutic cell after cognate T cell engagement. Both receptors were well expressed on primary T cells or T hybridomas using a tricistronic (alpha, beta, green fluorescent protein) retroviral expression system. MBP-DR2-zeta-, but not MBP-DR2, modified CTL were specifically stimulated by cognate MBP-specific T cells, proliferating, producing cytokine, and killing the MBP-specific target cells. The receptor-modified therapeutic cells were active in vivo as well, eliminating Ag-specific T cells in a humanized mouse model system. Finally, the chimeric receptor-modified CTL ameliorated or blocked experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) disease mediated by MBP84-102/DR2-specific T lymphocytes. These results provide support for the further development of redirected therapeutic T cells able to counteract pathologic, self-specific T lymphocytes, and specifically validate humanized MBP-DR2-zeta chimeric receptors as a potential therapeutic in MS.