We report herein application of an in situ material strategy to attenuate allograft T cell responses in a skin transplant mouse model. Functionalized peptidic membranes were used to impede trafficking of donor antigen-presenting cells (dAPCs) from skin allografts in recipient mice. Membranes formed by self-assembling peptides (SAPs) presenting antibodies were found to remain underneath grafted skins for up to 6 days. At the host-graft interface, dAPCs were targeted by using a monoclonal antibody that binds to a class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecule (I-A(d)) expressed exclusively by donor cells. Using a novel cell labeling near-infrared nanoemulsion, we found more dAPCs remained in allografts treated with membranes loaded with anti-I-A(d) antibodies than without. In vitro, dAPCs released from skin explants were found adsorbed preferentially on anti-I-A(d) antibody-loaded membranes. Recipient T cells from these mice produced lower concentrations of interferon-gamma cultured ex vivo with donor cells. Taken together, the data indicate that the strategy has the potential to alter the natural course of rejection immune mechanisms in allogeneic transplant models.
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