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OBJECTIVES: HLA-B27 is a common genetic risk factor for the development of Spondyloarthritides (SpA). HLA-B27 can misfold to form cell-surface heavy chain homodimers (B272) and induce pro-inflammatory responses that may lead to SpA pathogenesis. The presence of B272 can be detected on leukocytes of HLA-B27+ Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients and HLA-B27 transgenic rats. We characterized a novel B272-specific monoclonal antibody to study its therapeutic use in HLA-B27 associated disorders. METHODS: The monoclonal HD5 antibody was selected from a phage library to target cell-surface B272 homodimers and characterized for affinity, specificity and ligand binding. The immune modulating effect of HD5 was tested in HLA-B27 transgenic rats. Onset and progression of disease profiles were monitored during therapy. Cell-surface B272 and expansion of pro-inflammatory cells from blood, spleen and draining lymph nodes were assessed by flow cytometry. RESULTS: HD5 bound B272 with high specificity and affinity (Kd = 0.32 nM). HD5 blocked cell-surface interaction of B272 with immune regulatory receptors KIR3DL2, LILRB2 and Pirb. In addition, HD5 modulated the production of TNF from CD4+ T-cells by limiting B272 interactions in vitro. In an HLA-B27 transgenic rat model repetitive dosing of HD5 reduced the expansion of pro-inflammatory CD4+ T-cells, and decreased the levels of soluble TNF and number of cell-surface B272 molecules. CONCLUSION: HD5 predominantly inhibits early TNF production and expansion of pro-inflammatory CD4+ T-cells in HLA-B27 transgenic rats. Monoclonal antibodies targeting cell-surface B272 propose a new concept for the modulation of inflammatory responses in HLA-B27 related disorders.

Original publication




Journal article


Plos one

Publication Date





Animals, Antibodies, Monoclonal, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cell Communication, Cell Line, HLA-B27 Antigen, Humans, Inflammation, Male, Rats, Rats, Inbred F344, Rats, Transgenic, Spondylarthritis