Modification of the innate immune cell environment has recently been recognized as a viable treatment strategy for reducing autoimmune disease pathology. MIS416 is a microparticulate immune response modifier that targets myeloid cells, activating cytosolic receptors NOD2 and TLR9, and has completed a phase 1b/2a trial for the treatment of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. Using a mouse model of multiple sclerosis, we are investigating the pathways by which activation of TLR9 and NOD2 may modify the innate immune environment and the subsequent T cell-mediated autoimmune responses. We have found that MIS416 has profound effects on the Th subset balance by depressing antigen-specific Th1, Th17, and Th2 development. These effects coincided with an expansion of specific myeloid subpopulations and increased levels of MIS416-stimulated IFN-γ by splenocytes. Additionally, systemic IFN-γ serum levels were enhanced and correlated strongly with disease reduction, and the protective effect of MIS416 was abrogated in IFN-γ-deficient animals. Finally, treatment of secondary progressive MS patients with MIS416 similarly elevated the levels of IFN-γ and IFN-γ-associated proteins in the serum. Together, these studies demonstrate that administration of MIS416, which targets innate cells, reshapes autoimmune T cell responses and leads to a significant reduction in CNS inflammation and disease.
White, M., Webster, G., O’Sullivan, D., Stone, S., & La Flamme, A. C. (2014). 1DUMMY Targeting innate receptors with MIS416 reshapes Th responses and suppresses CNS disease in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. PLoS ONE, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0087712