Differential inhibition of autoreactive memory- and alloreactive naive T cell responses by soluble cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (sCTLA4), CTLA4Ig and LEA29Y


Applied Research and Histocompatibility


Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA4) is a potent inhibitory co-stimulatory molecule believed to be involved in type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases. An association has been reported of both mRNA expression and serum levels of the soluble splice variant of CTLA4 (sCTLA4) with type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, recombinant fusion proteins CTLA4Ig and LEA29Y have been proposed as therapies for type 1 diabetes. We studied the role of (s)CTLA4 in islet autoimmunity. Binding capacity of the proteins to antigen-presenting cells was determined by flow cytometry in competition and binding assays. Functionality of sCTLA4 as well as the therapeutic inhibitory fusion proteins CTLA4Ig and LEA29Y was measured in a dose-response lymphocyte stimulation test, using a panel of diabetes-associated T cell clones reactive to islet autoantigens. As controls, mixed lymphocyte reactions (MLR) were performed to assess functionality of these proteins in a primary alloreactive setting. All three CTLA4 molecules were able to bind to antigen-presenting cells and inhibit the expression of CD80/CD86. sCTLA4 was able to suppress proliferation of different committed autoreactive T cell clones in a dose-dependent manner, whereas CTLA4Ig and LEA29Y were not. Conversely, CTLA4Ig and LEA29Y, rather than sCTLA4, were able to suppress naive alloreactive proliferation in a MLR. Our results indicate a differential role for sCTLA4, CTLA4Ig and LEA29Y proteins in memory versus primary immune responses with implications for efficacy in intervention therapy.

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