An interleukin-2-IgG-Fas ligand fusion protein suppresses delayed-type hypersensitivity in mice by triggering apoptosis in activated T cells as a novel strategy for immunosuppression

Silvia Bulfone-Paus, René Rückert, Hans Krause, Horst Von Bernuth, Michael Notter, Thomas Pohl, T. Hien Tran, Ralf Paus, Ulrich Kunzendorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Background. Cell-mediated immune responses can be down-regulated by induction of apoptosis of immunoreactive lymphocytes. In the present study, we have tested the feasibility of a strategy for immunosuppression by the selective induction of apoptosis in activated, interleukin (IL)-2 receptor- positive lymphocytes, using a triple IL-2-IgG-FasL fusion protein. The IL-2- IgG-FasL fusion protein combines IL-2 for the selection of activated T cells, with the extracellular domain of the FasL molecule for inducing T-cell apoptosis. These components were separated by the Fc part of IgG1 serving as a spacer as well as for half-life prolongation. Methods. The gene for the chimeric protein was created by fusing DNA sequences encoding for the three functional components: human IL-2, the Fc part of human IgG1, and the extracellular domain of murine FasL. When the fusion gene was expressed in murine J558L cells, we obtained soluble dimeric immunoglobulin-like proteins in the supernatant. After analyzing the function of the IL-2 and FasL portions individually in vitro, a delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction to sheep red blood cells as model for cell-mediated immune responses was investigated to evaluate the IL-2-IgG-FasL-mediated immunosuppression in vivo. Results. In vitro, the IL-2-IgG-FasL fusion protein supported IL-2- dependent proliferation of Fas-resistant CTLL-2 cells, whereas concanavalin A-T blasts were induced to undergo apoptosis by the FasL portion. In vivo, this fusion protein potently inhibited a murine DTH. This was associated with an increased rate of apoptosis in activated lymphocytes in the spleen, even at very low doses of the fusion protein. Furthermore, a second antigen challenge 10 days after IL-2-IgG-FasL treatment still failed to elicit a DTH response. Conclusion. The abrogation of a standard T cell-dependent immune response in vivo demonstrates that IL-2-IgG-FasL can be successfully exploited to trigger the death of deleterious T cells, presenting a potentially useful strategy in the management of autoimmune diseases and allotransplant rejections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1386-1391
Number of pages6
JournalTransplantation
Volume69
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2000
Externally publishedYes

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Fas Ligand Protein
Delayed Hypersensitivity
Immunosuppression
Interleukin-2
Immunoglobulin G
Apoptosis
T-Lymphocytes
Lymphocytes
Proteins
Interleukin-2 Receptors
Gene Fusion
Concanavalin A
Autoimmune Diseases
Half-Life
Immunoglobulins
Sheep
Spleen
Erythrocytes
Antigens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

Cite this

An interleukin-2-IgG-Fas ligand fusion protein suppresses delayed-type hypersensitivity in mice by triggering apoptosis in activated T cells as a novel strategy for immunosuppression. / Bulfone-Paus, Silvia; Rückert, René; Krause, Hans; Von Bernuth, Horst; Notter, Michael; Pohl, Thomas; Tran, T. Hien; Paus, Ralf; Kunzendorf, Ulrich.

In: Transplantation, Vol. 69, No. 7, 15.04.2000, p. 1386-1391.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bulfone-Paus, Silvia ; Rückert, René ; Krause, Hans ; Von Bernuth, Horst ; Notter, Michael ; Pohl, Thomas ; Tran, T. Hien ; Paus, Ralf ; Kunzendorf, Ulrich. / An interleukin-2-IgG-Fas ligand fusion protein suppresses delayed-type hypersensitivity in mice by triggering apoptosis in activated T cells as a novel strategy for immunosuppression. In: Transplantation. 2000 ; Vol. 69, No. 7. pp. 1386-1391.
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AU - Rückert, René

AU - Krause, Hans

AU - Von Bernuth, Horst

AU - Notter, Michael

AU - Pohl, Thomas

AU - Tran, T. Hien

AU - Paus, Ralf

AU - Kunzendorf, Ulrich

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N2 - Background. Cell-mediated immune responses can be down-regulated by induction of apoptosis of immunoreactive lymphocytes. In the present study, we have tested the feasibility of a strategy for immunosuppression by the selective induction of apoptosis in activated, interleukin (IL)-2 receptor- positive lymphocytes, using a triple IL-2-IgG-FasL fusion protein. The IL-2- IgG-FasL fusion protein combines IL-2 for the selection of activated T cells, with the extracellular domain of the FasL molecule for inducing T-cell apoptosis. These components were separated by the Fc part of IgG1 serving as a spacer as well as for half-life prolongation. Methods. The gene for the chimeric protein was created by fusing DNA sequences encoding for the three functional components: human IL-2, the Fc part of human IgG1, and the extracellular domain of murine FasL. When the fusion gene was expressed in murine J558L cells, we obtained soluble dimeric immunoglobulin-like proteins in the supernatant. After analyzing the function of the IL-2 and FasL portions individually in vitro, a delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction to sheep red blood cells as model for cell-mediated immune responses was investigated to evaluate the IL-2-IgG-FasL-mediated immunosuppression in vivo. Results. In vitro, the IL-2-IgG-FasL fusion protein supported IL-2- dependent proliferation of Fas-resistant CTLL-2 cells, whereas concanavalin A-T blasts were induced to undergo apoptosis by the FasL portion. In vivo, this fusion protein potently inhibited a murine DTH. This was associated with an increased rate of apoptosis in activated lymphocytes in the spleen, even at very low doses of the fusion protein. Furthermore, a second antigen challenge 10 days after IL-2-IgG-FasL treatment still failed to elicit a DTH response. Conclusion. The abrogation of a standard T cell-dependent immune response in vivo demonstrates that IL-2-IgG-FasL can be successfully exploited to trigger the death of deleterious T cells, presenting a potentially useful strategy in the management of autoimmune diseases and allotransplant rejections.

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