Helper (CD4+) T cells perform direct therapeutic functions and augment responses of cells such as cytotoxic (CD8+) T cells against a wide variety of diseases and pathogens. Nevertheless, inefficient synthetic technologies for expansion of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells hinders consistency and scalability of CD4+ T cell-based therapies, and complicates mechanistic studies. Here we describe a nanoparticle platform for ex vivo CD4+ T cell culture that mimics antigen presenting cells (APC) through display of major histocompatibility class II (MHC II) molecules. When combined with soluble co-stimulation signals, MHC II artificial APCs (aAPCs) expand cognate murine CD4+ T cells, including rare endogenous subsets, to induce potent effector functions in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, MHC II aAPCs provide help signals that enhance antitumor function of aAPC-activated CD8+ T cells in a mouse tumor model. Lastly, human leukocyte antigen class II-based aAPCs expand rare subsets of functional, antigen-specific human CD4+ T cells. Overall, MHC II aAPCs provide a promising approach for harnessing targeted CD4+ T cell responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)