Reprogramming the immune system for tolerance with monoclonal antibodies.
Cobbold SP., Qin SX., Waldmann H.
Monoclonal antibodies to CD4, CD8 and CD11a can be used in vivo either to deplete or functionally block T cells to create a tolerance permissive environment. Short courses of non-depleting CD4 and CD8 antibodies were used to induce tolerance separately in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells either to foreign immunoglobulins, bone marrow, or skin grafts. Tolerance was obtained to minor (non-MHC) transplantation antigens without T cell depletion even in actively sensitized mice, or to MHC plus minor antigens presented directly by skin grafts using combinations of depleting followed by blockading CD4 and CD8 antibodies. In all cases, tolerance was specific to the antigen/tissue given under cover of antibody treatment, and in one example it could be shown that T cells directed to MLS-1a had been forced into an anergic state. This induction of tolerant, anergic T cells in the periphery is able to explain many of the features associated with tolerance, not only in the model systems using foreign antigens, but also in the normal regulation of anti-self responses and its failure in autoimmune diseases. It is our new found ability to use antigen under the cover of antibody treatment to accurately control the pattern of tolerant T cells in vivo that we refer to by using the term 'reprogramming'. We also describe the clinical treatment of one patient with an autoimmune vasculitis based on the ideas developed from the mouse models.