Design of biodegradable nanoparticles to modulate phenotypes of antigen-presenting cells for antigen-specific treatment of autoimmune disease

Eiji Saito, Robert Kuo, Kevin R. Kramer, Nishant Gohel, David A. Giles, Bethany B. Moore, Stephen D. Miller, Lonnie D. Shea*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Current therapeutic options for autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), often require lifelong treatment with immunosuppressive drugs, yet strategies for antigen-specific immunomodulation are emerging. Biodegradable particles loaded with disease-specific antigen, either alone or with immunomodulators, have been reported to ameliorate disease. Herein, we hypothesized that the carrier could impact polarization of the immune cells that associate with particles and the subsequent disease progression. Single injection of three polymeric carriers, 50:50 poly (DL-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLG) with two molecular weights (Low, High) and poly (DL-lactide) (PLA), loaded with the disease-specific antigen, proteolipid protein (PLP139-151), were investigated for the ability to attenuate clinical scores in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a mouse model of MS. At a low particle dose, mice treated with PLA-based particles had significantly lower clinical scores at the chronic stage of the disease over 200 days post immunization, while neither PLG-based particles nor OVA control particles reduced the clinical scores. Compared to PLG-based particles, PLA-based particles were largely associated with Kupffer cells and liver sinusoidal endothelial cells, which had a reduced co-stimulatory molecule expression that correlated with a reduction of CD4+ T-cell populations in the central nervous system. Delivery of PLA-based particles encapsulated with higher levels of PLP139-151 at a reduced dose were able to completely ameliorate EAE over 200 days along with inhibition of Th1 and Th17 polarization. Collectively, our study demonstrates that the carrier properties and antigen loading determine phenotypes of immune cells in the peripheral organs, influencing the amelioration of both acute and chronic stages of autoimmunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number119432
StatePublished - Nov 2019


  • Antigen-specific treatment
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Drug delivery
  • Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE)
  • Immune tolerance
  • Nanoparticles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials


Dive into the research topics of 'Design of biodegradable nanoparticles to modulate phenotypes of antigen-presenting cells for antigen-specific treatment of autoimmune disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this