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Clinical and immunological control of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by tolerogenic dendritic cells loaded with MOG-encoding mRNA

  • Derdelinckx, Judith;
  • Jose Mansilla, Maria;
  • De Laere, Maxime;
  • Lee, Wai-Ping;
  • Navarro-Barriuso, Juan;
  • Wens, Inez;
  • Nkansah, Irene;
  • Daans, Jasmijn;
  • De Reu, Hans;
  • Keliris, Aneta Jolanta;
  • Van Audekerke, Johan;
  • Vanreusel, Verdi;
  • Pieters, Zoe;
  • Van der Linden, Annemie;
  • Verhoye, Marleen;
  • Molenberghs, Geert; 56633;
  • Hens, Niel;
  • Goossens, Herman;
  • Willekens, Barbara;
  • Cras, Patrick;
  • And 4 more
Publication Date
Aug 15, 2019
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BACKGROUND: Although effective in reducing relapse rate and delaying progression, current therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS) do not completely halt disease progression. T cell autoimmunity to myelin antigens is considered one of the main mechanisms driving MS. It is characterized by autoreactivity to disease-initiating myelin antigen epitope(s), followed by a cascade of epitope spreading, which are both strongly patient-dependent. Targeting a variety of MS-associated antigens by myelin antigen-presenting tolerogenic dendritic cells (tolDC) is a promising treatment strategy to re-establish tolerance in MS. Electroporation with mRNA encoding myelin proteins is an innovative technique to load tolDC with the full spectrum of naturally processed myelin-derived epitopes. METHODS: In this study, we generated murine tolDC presenting myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) using mRNA electroporation and we assessed the efficacy of MOG mRNA-electroporated tolDC to dampen pathogenic T cell responses in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). For this, MOG35-55-immunized C57BL/6 mice were injected intravenously at days 13, 17, and 21 post-disease induction with 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-treated tolDC electroporated with MOG-encoding mRNA. Mice were scored daily for signs of paralysis. At day 25, myelin reactivity was evaluated following restimulation of splenocytes with myelin-derived epitopes. Ex vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed to assess spinal cord inflammatory lesion load. RESULTS: Treatment of MOG35-55-immunized C57BL/6 mice with MOG mRNA-electroporated or MOG35-55-pulsed tolDC led to a stabilization of the EAE clinical score from the first administration onwards, whereas it worsened in mice treated with non-antigen-loaded tolDC or with vehicle only. In addition, MOG35-55-specific pro-inflammatory pathogenic T cell responses and myelin antigen epitope spreading were inhibited in the peripheral immune system of tolDC-treated mice. Finally, magnetic resonance imaging analysis of hyperintense spots along the spinal cord was in line with the clinical score. CONCLUSIONS: Electroporation with mRNA is an efficient and versatile tool to generate myelin-presenting tolDC that are capable to stabilize the clinical score in EAE. These results pave the way for further research into mRNA-electroporated tolDC treatment as a patient-tailored therapy for MS. / status: published

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