FVIII Immunity : early events and tolerance mechanisms to FVIII
Qadura, Mohammad Imad
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Among the complications of current treatments for hemophilia A, the development of anti-FVIII antibodies including “FVIII inhibitors” remains the major clinical problem in treating hemophiliacs. Factor VIII inhibitors work through neutralizing the coagulation cofactor activity of the infused FVIII and preventing the restoration of normal hemostasis. This thesis explains the influence of genetic background on the generation of FVIII inhibitors, introduces a new pre-clinical approach that reduces the immunological response towards FVIII and predicts the in vivo behavior of recombinant and plasma-derived FVIII products in hemophilic patients. First, we studied the influence of the genetic background on the formation of FVIII antibodies by treating hemophilia A Balb/c and C57BL/6 mice with repetitive FVIII infusions. We observed that the C57BL/6 mice developed higher FVIII antibody titers than the Balb/c mice. Our results suggest that differences in the cytokine immune responses due to FVIII in Balb/c and C57BL/6 mice are responsible for the different FVIII antibody titers in each of these strains. Second, we investigated the use of FVIII-pulsed immature dendritic cells in inducing immune tolerance against FVIII prior to the FVIII treatment. We showed that in vivo, FVIII does not induce the activation and proliferation of hemophilic T cells. Furthermore, infusing FVIII-pulsed immature dendritic cells into hemophilic mice resulted in a long-term reduction in immune reactivity towards FVIII. Also, we have proposed methods on how to improve the tolerogenic abilities of dendritic cells. Our results indicate that the immature dendritic cells induced the formation of T regulatory cells and that these T regulatory cells were responsible for the observed reduction in immune reactivity. Finally, we were able to identify the mechanisms behind the immune system activation in mice treated with either recombinant or plasma-derived FVIII products. We showed that plasma-derived FVIII results in reduced FVIII antibody titer formation in hemophilic mice. Our results demonstrate that the differences in antibody formation in hemophilic mice treated with either recombinant or plasma- derived FVIII products are due to the distinct cytokine micro-environment induced by each product. This thesis contributes to the current knowledge on FVIII immunology and the in vivo behavior of FVIII in hemophilic mice. The results generated from this thesis can be used to modify the available FVIII treatments in order to minimize the immunological complications of FVIII and improve the quality of life of hemophilic patients.