Antigen-specific induction of peripheral T cell tolerance in vivo by codelivery of DNA vectors encoding antigen and Fas ligand

Robert W. Georgantas, Kam W. Leong, J. Thomas August

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Fas ligand (FasL, CD95L) induces apoptosis in activated T cells with upregulated Fas (CD95) expression through the process termed activation- induced cell death (AICD). We postulated that coexpression of antigen and FasL within individual antigen-presenting cells would lead to antigen- specific activation of T cells and to their consequent deletion by FasL- mediated AICD. A DNA-gelatin coacervate containing transferrin cell ligand, calcium, and the lysosomatropic agent chloroquine, a formulation previously shown to achieve high-level transfection of immune and muscle cells in vivo, was used to codeliver plasmids encoding FasL and antigen. Mice developed a strong cytolytic T cell response to β-Gal when injected with DNA encoding β-galactosidase (LacZ) model antigen, either as naked DNA or DNA nanoparticles, but failed to respond when there was concomitant injection of nanoparticles containing both the LacZ and murine FasL DNA vectors. This loss of T cell response was systemic, specific for β-Gal, complete when nonoparticles were administered before antigen challenge, and decreased the T cell response from prior immunization with LacZ DNA. In effect, this 'tolerization' injection induced antigen-specific peripheral tolerance in study mice, and represents a possible approach to the treatment of autoimmune diseases and transplantation rejection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)851-858
Number of pages8
JournalHuman gene therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 10 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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