Exploiting novel tailored immunotherapies of type 1 diabetes: Short interfering RNA delivered by cationic liposomes enables efficient down-regulation of variant PTPN22 gene in T lymphocytes

Nanomedicine. 2019 Jun;18:371-379. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2018.11.001. Epub 2018 Nov 12.


In autoimmune diseases as Type 1 diabetes, the actual treatment that provides the missing hormones is not able, however, to interrupt the underlining immunological mechanism. Importantly, novel immunotherapies are exploited to protect and rescue the remaining hormone producing cells. Among probable targets of immunotherapy, the C1858T mutation in the PTPN22 gene, which encodes for the lymphoid tyrosine phosphatase (Lyp) variant R620W, reveals an autoimmunity related pathophysiological role. Our scope was to establish new C1858T PTPN22 siRNA duplexes delivered by liposomal carriers (lipoplexes) to patients' PBMC. Following lipoplexes treatment, CD3+ and CD3- immunotypes were efficiently transfected; cell integrity and viability were preserved. Specific target mRNA down-modulation was observed. After T cell receptor stimulation, in lipoplexes-treated PBMC Lyp function was restored by increased release of IL-2 in cultures. Results set-up the stage for ultimate trials in the treatment of autoimmunity based on the specific inhibitory targeting of C1858T PTPN22 by lipoplexes.

Keywords: Immunotherapy; Lipoplexes; T1D; Variant PTPN22.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Base Sequence
  • Cations
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Down-Regulation*
  • Dynamic Light Scattering
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy*
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Liposomes
  • Male
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 22 / genetics*
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 22 / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*


  • Cations
  • Lipids
  • Liposomes
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • PTPN22 protein, human
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 22