Tolerance induction using nanoparticles bearing HY peptides in bone marrow transplantation

Kelan A. Hlavaty, Derrick P. McCarthy, Eiji Saito, Woon Teck Yap, Stephen D. Miller, Lonnie D. Shea*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Allogeneic cell therapies have either proven effective or have great potential in numerous applications, though the required systemic, life-long immunosuppression presents significant health risks. Inducing tolerance to allogeneic cells offers the potential to reduce or eliminate chronic immunosuppression. Herein, we investigated antigen-loaded nanoparticles for their ability to promote transplant tolerance in the minor histocompatibility antigen sex-mismatched C57BL/6 model of bone marrow transplantation. In this model, the peptide antigens Dby and Uty mediate rejection of male bone marrow transplants by female CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, respectively, and we investigated the action of nanoparticles on these T cell subsets. Antigens were coupled to or encapsulated within poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLG) nanoparticles with an approximate diameter of 500 nm. Delivery of the CD4-encoded Dby epitope either coupled to or encapsulated within PLG particles prevented transplant rejection, promoted donor-host chimerism, and suppressed proliferative and IFN-γ responses in tolerized recipients. Nanoparticles modified with the Uty peptide did not induce tolerance. The dosing regimen was investigated with Dby coupled particles, and a single dose delivered the day after bone marrow transplant was sufficient for tolerance induction. The engraftment of cells was significantly affected by PD-1/PDL-1 costimluation, as blockade of PD-1 reduced engraftment by ~50%. In contrast, blockade of regulatory T cells did not impact the level of chimerism. The delivery of antigen on PLG nanoparticles promoted long-term engraftment of bone marrow in a model with a minor antigen mismatch in the absence of immunosuppression, and this represents a promising platform for developing a translatable, donor-specific tolerance strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2016


  • Bone marrow engraftment
  • PD-1 costimulation
  • PLG nanoparticles
  • Tolerance
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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