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Targeting proinsulin to local immune cells using an intradermal microneedle delivery system; a potential antigen-specific immunotherapy for type 1 diabetes

Arikat, Farah, Hanna, Stephanie J., Singh, Ravinder K., Vilela, Luciano, Wong, F. Susan, Dayan, Colin M., Coulman, Sion A. and Birchall, James C. 2020. Targeting proinsulin to local immune cells using an intradermal microneedle delivery system; a potential antigen-specific immunotherapy for type 1 diabetes. Journal of Controlled Release 322 , pp. 593-601. 10.1016/j.jconrel.2020.02.031

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Antigen-specific immunotherapy (ASI) has been proposed as an alternative treatment strategy for type 1 diabetes (T1D). ASI aims to induce a regulatory, rather than stimulatory, immune response in order to reduce, or prevent, autoimmune mediated β-cell destruction, thus preserving endogenous insulin production. The abundance of immunocompetent antigen presenting cells (APCs) within the skin makes this organ an attractive target for immunotherapies. Microneedles (MNs) have been proposed as a suitable drug delivery system to facilitate intradermal delivery of autoantigens in a minimally invasive manner. However, studies to date have employed single peptide autoantigens, which would restrict ASI to patients expressing specific Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) molecules, thus stratifying the patient population. This study aims to develop, for the first time, an intradermal MN delivery system to target proinsulin, a large multi-epitope protein capable of inducing tolerance in a heterogenous (in terms of HLA status) population of T1D patients, to the immunocompetent cells of the skin. An optimized three component coating formulation containing proinsulin, a diluent and a surfactant, facilitated uniform and reproducible coating of >30 μg of the active pharmaceutical ingredient on a stainless steel MN array consisting of thirty 500 μm projections. When applied to a murine model these proinsulin-coated MNs efficiently punctured the skin and after a limited insertion time (150 s) a significant proportion of the therapeutic payload (86%) was reproducibly delivered into the local tissue. Localized delivery of proinsulin in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice using the coated MN system stimulated significantly greater proliferation of adoptively transferred antigen-specific CD8+ T cells in the skin draining lymph nodes compared to a conventional intradermal injection. This provides evidence of targeted delivery of the multi-epitope proinsulin antigen to skin-resident APCs, in vivo, in a form that enables antigen presentation to antigen-specific T cells in the local lymph nodes. The development of an innovative coated MN system for highly targeted and reproducible delivery of proinsulin to local immune cells warrants further evaluation to determine translation to a tolerogenic clinical outcome.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Pharmacy
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0168-3659
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 February 2020
Date of Acceptance: 17 February 2020
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2022 06:09

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