Presenter Information

Maya K. DahlgrenFollow

Presentation Type

Presentation

Faculty Mentor’s Full Name

David Shepherd

Faculty Mentor’s Department

Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Abstract

Development of a Novel Vaccine to Specifically Treat Autoimmune Diseases

Maya Dahlgren, Fanny Astruc-Diaz, Celine Beamer, Shelby Cole, Joanna Kreitinger, and David Shepherd

Over the last few decades, there has been a significant increase in the amount of people with autoimmune diseases, leading to frequent morbidity and mortality. Immune-mediated diseases, such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and many others, involve dis-regulation of the immune system, which causes inappropriate attacking of self tissue and organs. Current treatments for these disorders are inadequate and cause many adverse effects, creating a need for a better therapy that can better target and regulate the immune system. Through research we have identified a protein, called the Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR), that binds PCBs and dioxins which leads to systemic immune suppression. An important population of immune cells that helps to regulate immune responses, called Dendritic cells (DC), express AhR and are highly responsive to AhR activations. From this information, it was hypothesized that if we could deliver activators of AhR to specific immune cells, we could create a drug that is highly specific to suppress unwanted autoimmunity. In order to test this theory, we generated a drug delivery system using liposomal nanoparticles containing AhR activating drugs, autoimmune disease specific peptides, a fluorescent diagnostic marker, and targeting antibodies for mouse DCs. Our results in vitro have demonstrated the utility and selectivity of this system in mouse DCs. Preliminary experiments in vivo have indicated appropriate bio-distribution of the drug-containing nanoparticles when administered to mice. Future experiments are designed to further evaluate the efficacy of this novel immunotherapeutic approach to suppress unwanted autoimmune responses. Ultimately our goal is to develop a highly targeted therapy that can effectively treat autoimmune diseases without compromising the entire immune system.

Category

Health and Medical Science

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Apr 27th, 9:00 AM Apr 27th, 9:20 AM

Development of a Novel Vaccine to Specifically Treat Autoimmune Diseases

UC 327

Development of a Novel Vaccine to Specifically Treat Autoimmune Diseases

Maya Dahlgren, Fanny Astruc-Diaz, Celine Beamer, Shelby Cole, Joanna Kreitinger, and David Shepherd

Over the last few decades, there has been a significant increase in the amount of people with autoimmune diseases, leading to frequent morbidity and mortality. Immune-mediated diseases, such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and many others, involve dis-regulation of the immune system, which causes inappropriate attacking of self tissue and organs. Current treatments for these disorders are inadequate and cause many adverse effects, creating a need for a better therapy that can better target and regulate the immune system. Through research we have identified a protein, called the Aryl hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR), that binds PCBs and dioxins which leads to systemic immune suppression. An important population of immune cells that helps to regulate immune responses, called Dendritic cells (DC), express AhR and are highly responsive to AhR activations. From this information, it was hypothesized that if we could deliver activators of AhR to specific immune cells, we could create a drug that is highly specific to suppress unwanted autoimmunity. In order to test this theory, we generated a drug delivery system using liposomal nanoparticles containing AhR activating drugs, autoimmune disease specific peptides, a fluorescent diagnostic marker, and targeting antibodies for mouse DCs. Our results in vitro have demonstrated the utility and selectivity of this system in mouse DCs. Preliminary experiments in vivo have indicated appropriate bio-distribution of the drug-containing nanoparticles when administered to mice. Future experiments are designed to further evaluate the efficacy of this novel immunotherapeutic approach to suppress unwanted autoimmune responses. Ultimately our goal is to develop a highly targeted therapy that can effectively treat autoimmune diseases without compromising the entire immune system.