Potential Clinical Use of Butyric Acid Derivatives to Induce Antigen-Specific T Cell Inactivation
AbstractAbstract Compounds with the capacity to induce antigen-specific unresponsiveness in CD4 + T cells can in some clinical situations be more beneficial than general immune suppressants. Newly synthesized ester, ester/amide, and amide derivatives of butyrate with the capacity to induce antigen-specific T cell unresponsiveness in vivo and in vitro were tested here. The ester and ester/amide derivatives of butyrate were shown to block proliferation by interleukin-2-stimulated murine Th1 cells in vitro. A 3-day treatment with these same two derivatives also suppressed a primary antibody response to a thymus-dependent antigen in mice. In addition, even a single injection of the ester derivative of n -butyrate 2-(4-morpholinyl)ethyl butyrate hydrochloride (MEB) on day 2 or 3 after immunization suppressed the generation of memory T cells capable of proliferating to antigen or of promoting a secondary antigen-specific antibody response. MEB also induced antigen-specific unresponsiveness in antigen-activated, but not resting or interleukin-2-activated, T cells in vitro. DNA analysis showed that regardless of when MEB was added to the cultures, it induced the eventual G 1 sequestration of essentially all activated Th1 cells. Because G 1 blockade is associated with Th1 cell anergy, this finding suggests that MEB has the potential to induce anergy in already-activated CD4 + T cells. Taken together, the results presented here establish MEB as a novel means of inducing anergy in CD4 + T cells both in vitro and in vivo and underscore the likelihood that MEB and/or other butyrate derivatives can be used as immunotherapeutic reagents.