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Acute B-Cell Inhibition by Soluble Antigen Arrays Is Valency-Dependent and Predicts Immunomodulation in Splenocytes.

Biomacromolecules (2019-04-19)
J Daniel Griffin, Martin A Leon, Jean R Salash, Michael Shao, Brittany L Hartwell, Chad J Pickens, Joshua O Sestak, Cory Berkland
ABSTRACT

Antigen valency plays a fundamental role in directing the nature of an immune response to be stimulatory or tolerogenic. Soluble antigen arrays (SAgAs) are an antigen-specific immunotherapy that combats autoimmunity through the multivalent display of autoantigen. Although mechanistic studies have shown SAgAs to induce T- and B-cell anergy, the effect of SAgA valency has never been experimentally tested. Here, SAgAs of discrete antigen valencies were synthesized by click chemistry and evaluated for acute B-cell signaling inhibition as well as downstream immunomodulatory effects in splenocytes. Initial studies using the Raji B-cell line demonstrated SAgA valency dictated the extent of calcium flux. Lower valency constructs elicited the largest reductions in B-cell activation. In splenocytes from mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, the same valency-dependent effects were evident in the downregulation of the costimulatory marker CD86. The reduction of calcium flux observed in Raji B-cells correlated strongly with downregulation in splenocyte CD86 expression after 72 h. Here, a thorough analysis of SAgA antigenic valency illustrates that low, but not monovalent, presentation of autoantigen was ideal for eliciting the most potent immunomodulatory effects.