Protocols in Current Issue
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0 Q&A 1368 Views Jan 5, 2023

Traditional drug safety assessments often fail to predict complications in humans, especially when the drug targets the immune system. Rodent-based preclinical animal models are often ill-suited for predicting immunotherapy-mediated adverse events in humans, in part because of the fundamental differences in immunological responses between species and the human relevant expression profile of the target antigen, if it is expected to be present in normal, healthy tissue. While human-relevant cell-based models of tissues and organs promise to bridge this gap, conventional in vitro two-dimensional models fail to provide the complexity required to model the biological mechanisms of immunotherapeutic effects. Also, like animal models, they fail to recapitulate physiologically relevant levels and patterns of organ-specific proteins, crucial for capturing pharmacology and safety liabilities. Organ-on-Chip models aim to overcome these limitations by combining micro-engineering with cultured primary human cells to recreate the complex multifactorial microenvironment and functions of native tissues and organs. In this protocol, we show the unprecedented capability of two human Organs-on-Chip models to evaluate the safety profile of T cell–bispecific antibodies (TCBs) targeting tumor antigens. These novel tools broaden the research options available for a mechanistic understanding of engineered therapeutic antibodies and for assessing safety in tissues susceptible to adverse events.

Graphical abstract

Figure 1. Graphical representation of the major steps in target-dependent T cell–bispecific antibodies engagement and immunomodulation, as performed in the Colon Intestine-Chip

0 Q&A 1262 Views Mar 20, 2022

The lumen of blood vessels is covered by endothelial cells, which regulate their permeability to ions and solutes. Endothelial permeability depends on the vascular bed and cell phenotype, and is influenced by different disease states. Most characterization of endothelial permeability has been carried out using isolated cells in culture. While analysis of cultured cells is a valuable approach, it does not account for factors of the native cell environment. Building on Ussing chamber studies of intact tissue specimens, here we describe a method to measure the electrophysiological properties of intact arteriole and venule endothelia, including transendothelial electrical resistance (TEER) and ion permselectivity. As an example, vessels isolated from the mesentery were treated ex vivo, then mounted in a custom-made tissue cassette that enable their analysis by classical approaches with an Ussing chamber. This method enables a detailed analysis of electrophysiological vessel responses to stresses such as proinflammatory cytokines, in the context of an intact vessel.

Graphic abstract:

0 Q&A 3627 Views Dec 20, 2020
The mRNA therapeutics is a new class of medicine to treat many various diseases. However, in vitro transcribed (IVT) mRNA triggers immune responses due to recognition by human endosomal and cytoplasmic RNA sensors, but incorporation of modified nucleosides have been shown to reduce such responses. Therefore, an assay signifying important aspects of the human immune system is still required. Here, we present a simple ex vivo method called ‘RNA ImmunoGenic Assay’ to measure immunogenicity of IVT-mRNAs in human whole blood. Chemically modified and unmodified mRNA are complexed with a transfection reagent (TransIT), and co-incubated in human whole blood. Specific cytokines are measured (TNF-α, INF-α, INF-γ, IL-6 and IL-12p70) using ELISAs. The qPCR analysis is performed to reveal the activation of specific immune pathways. The RNA ImmunoGenic Assay provides a simple and fast method to detect donor specific - immune response against mRNA therapeutics.

Graphic abstract:

Schematic representation of RNA ImmunoGenic Assay

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