Temporary Reduction of Membrane CD4 with the Antioxidant MnTBAP Is Sufficient to Prevent Immune Responses Induced by Gene Transfer

Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2019 Jul 23;14:285-299. doi: 10.1016/j.omtm.2019.06.011. eCollection 2019 Sep 13.


Unexpectedly, the synthetic antioxidant MnTBAP was found to cause a rapid and reversible downregulation of CD4 on T cells in vitro and in vivo. This effect resulted from the internalization of membrane CD4 T cell molecules into clathrin-coated pits and involved disruption of the CD4/p56Lck complex. The CD4 deprivation induced by MnTBAP had functional consequences on CD4-dependent infectious processes or immunological responses as shown in various models, including gene therapy. In cultured human T cells, MnTBAP-induced downregulation of CD4 functionally suppressed gp120- mediated lentiviral transduction in a model relevant for HIV infection. The injection of MnTBAP in mice reduced membrane CD4 on lymphocytes in vivo within 5 days of treatment, preventing OVA peptide T cell immunization while allowing subsequent immunization once treatment was stopped. In a mouse gene therapy model, MnTBAP treatment at the time of adenovirus-associated virus (AAV) vector administration, successfully controlled the induction of anti-transgene and anti-capsid immune responses mediated by CD4+ T cells, enabling the redosing mice with the same vector. These functional data provide new avenues to develop alternative therapeutic immunomodulatory strategies based on temporary regulation of CD4. These could be particularly useful for AAV gene therapy in which novel strategies for redosing are needed.

Keywords: Immunomodulation; MnTBAP; antigen reexposure; gene transfer; gp120; membrane CD4 internalization; neutralizing antibodies; p56lck; rAAV capsid; redosing.