Nanoparticle-based autoimmune disease therapy

Clin Immunol. 2015 Sep;160(1):3-13. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2015.02.003. Epub 2015 Feb 19.


The goal of immunotherapy against autoimmunity is to block pathogenic inflammation without impairing immunity against infections and tumours. Regulatory T-cells (Tregs) play a central role in maintaining immune homeostasis, and autoimmune inflammation is frequently associated with decreased numbers and/or function of these T-cells. Therapies harnessing Tregs to treat autoimmune inflammation remain under-developed with caveats ranging from the lack of antigenic and disease specificity to the potential phenotypic and functional instability of in vitro-expanded Treg cells in vivo. Here, we review nanotechnology-based approaches designed to promote immune tolerance through various mechanisms, ranging from systemic or local suppression of antigen-presenting cells and deletion of antigen-specific T-cells, to the systemic expansion of antigen- and disease-specific Treg cells in vivo.

Keywords: Autoimmunity; Immunotherapy; Nanomaterials; Nanotechnology; Nanovaccines; Regulatory T-cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / therapy*
  • Drug Carriers / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance / immunology*
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Depletion / methods
  • Nanoparticles / therapeutic use*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Drug Carriers