Dr. Michael H. Zhang, PhD '21
Antigen-presenting cells (APCs) are widely studied for treating immune-mediated diseases, and dendritic cells (DCs) are potent APCs that uptake and present antigens (Ags). However, DCs face several challenges that hinder their clinical translation due to their inability to control Ag dosing and low abundance in peripheral blood. B cells are a potential alternative to DCs, but their poor nonspecific Ag uptake capabilities compromise controllable priming of T cells. Here, we developed phospholipid-conjugated Ags (L-Ags) and lipid–polymer hybrid nanoparticles (L/P-Ag NPs) as delivery platforms to expand the range of accessible APCs for use in T cell priming. These delivery platforms were evaluated using DCs, CD40-activated B cells, and resting B cells to understand the impacts of various Ag delivery mechanisms for generation of Ag-specific T cell responses. L-Ag delivery (termed depoting) of MHC class I- and II-restricted Ags successfully loaded all APC types in a tunable manner and primed both Ag-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells, respectively. Incorporating L-Ags and polymer-conjugated Ags (P-Ag) into NPs can direct Ags to different uptake pathways to engineer the dynamics of presentation and shape T cell responses. DCs were capable of processing and presenting Ag delivered from both L- and P-Ag NPs, yet B cells could only utilize Ag delivered from L-Ag NPs, which led to differential cytokine secretion profiles in coculture studies. Altogether, we show that L-Ags and P-Ags can be rationally paired within a single NP to leverage distinct delivery mechanisms to access multiple Ag processing pathways in two APC types, offering a modular delivery platform for engineering Ag-specific immunotherapies.
Posted: July 12, 2023, 12:13 PM