Effector memory T cells (TM) play a key role in the pathology of certain autoimmune disorders. The activity of effector TM cells is under the control of Kv1.3 ion channels, which facilitate the Ca(2+) influx necessary for T cell activation and function, i.e. cytokine release and proliferation. Consequently, the knock-down of Kv1.3 expression in effector TM's may be utilized as a therapy for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. In this study we synthesized lipid unilamellar nanoparticles (NPs) that can selectively deliver Kv1.3 siRNAs into TM cells in vitro. NPs made from a mixture of phosphatidylcholine, pegylated/biotinylated phosphoethanolamine and cholesterol were functionalized with biotinylated-CD45RO (cell surface marker of TM's) antibodies via fluorophore-conjugated streptavidin (CD45RO-NPs). Incubation of T cells with CD45RO-NPs resulted into the selective attachment and endocytosis of the NPs into TM's. Furthermore, the siRNA against Kv1.3, encapsulated into the CD45RO-NPs, was released into the cytosol. Consequently, the expression of Kv1.3 channels decreased significantly in TM's, which led to a remarkable decrease in Ca(2+) influx. Our results can form the basis of an innovative therapeutic approach in autoimmunity.
Keywords: Autoimmunity; Kv1.3 ion channel; Lipid nanoparticles; T cell; siRNA.
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