Dendritic cells (DCs) rely on glycolysis for their energy needs to induce pro-inflammatory antigen-specific immune responses. Therefore, inhibiting DC glycolysis, while presenting the self-antigen, may prevent pro-inflammatory antigen-specific immune responses. Previously we demonstrated that microparticles with alpha-ketoglutarate (aKG) in the polymer backbone (paKG MPs) were able to generate anti-inflammatory DCs by sustained delivery of the aKG metabolite, and by modulating energy metabolism of DCs. Herein, we demonstrate that paKG MPs-based delivery of a glycolytic inhibitor, PFK15, using paKG MPs induces anti-inflammatory DCs (CD86MHCII) by down-regulating glycolysis, CD86, tnf and IL-6 genes, while upregulating oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and mitochondrial genes. Furthermore, paKG MPs delivering PFK15 and a self-antigen, collagen type II (bc2), in vivo, in a collagen-induced autoimmune arthritis (CIA) mouse model, normalized paw inflammation and arthritis score, by generating antigen-specific immune responses. Specifically, these formulations were able to reduce activation of DCs in draining lymph nodes and impressively generated proliferating bc2-specific anti-inflammatory regulatory T cells in joint-associated popliteal lymph nodes. These data strongly suggest that sustained glycolytic inhibition of DCs in the presence of an antigen can induce antigen-specific immunosuppressive responses, therefore, generating a technology that can be applicable for treating autoimmune diseases.
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