T cells are key mediators of graft tolerance/rejection, development of autoimmunity, and the anticancer response. Consequently, differentially modifying the T cell response is a major therapeutic target. Most immunomodulatory approaches have focused on cytotoxic agents, cytokine modulation, monoclonal antibodies, mitogen activation, adoptive cell therapies (including CAR-T cells). However, these approaches do not persistently reorient the systemic immune response thus necessitating continual therapy. Previous murine studies from our laboratory demonstrated that the adoptive transfer of polymer-grafted (PEGylated) allogeneic leukocytes resulted in the induction of a persistent and systemic tolerogenic state. Further analyses demonstrated that miRNA isolated from the secretome of polymer-modified or control allogeneic responses effectively induced either a tolerogenic (TA1 miRNA) or proinflammatory (IA1 miRNA) response both in vitro and in vivo that was both systemic and persistent. In a murine Type 1 diabetes autoimmune model, the tolerogenic TA1 therapeutic effectively attenuated the disease process via the systemic upregulation of regulatory T cells while simultaneously downregulating T effector cells. In contrast, the proinflammatory IA1 therapeutic enhanced the anticancer efficacy of naïve PBMC by increasing inflammatory T cells and decreasing regulatory T cells. The successful development of this secretome miRNA approach may prove useful treating both autoimmune diseases and cancer.
Part of the book: Cells of the Immune System