Engineered antigen-specific human regulatory T cells: immunosuppression of FVIII-specific T- and B-cell responses, Blood 2016


Expansion of human regulatory T cells (Tregs) for clinical applications offers great promise for the treatment of undesirable immune responses in autoimmunity, transplantation, allergy, and antidrug antibody responses, including inhibitor responses in hemophilia A patients. However, polyclonal Tregs are nonspecific and therefore could potentially cause global immunosuppression. To avoid this undesirable outcome, the generation of antigen-specific Tregs would be advantageous. Herein, we report the production and properties of engineered antigen-specific Tregs, created by transduction of a recombinant T-cell receptor obtained from a hemophilia A subject's T-cell clone, into expanded human FoxP3(+) Tregs. Such engineered factor VIII (FVIII)-specific Tregs efficiently suppressed the proliferation and cytokine production of FVIII-specific T-effector cells. Moreover, studies with an HLA-transgenic, FVIII-deficient mouse model demonstrated that antibody production from FVIII-primed spleen cells in vitro were profoundly inhibited in the presence of these FVIII-specific Tregs, suggesting potential utility to treat anti-FVIII inhibitory antibody formation in hemophilia A patients.