The immune system defends our body by fighting infection from pathogens utilizing both the innate and adaptive immune responses. The innate immune response is generated rapidly as the first line of defense. It is followed by the adaptive immune response that selectively targets infected cells. The adaptive immune response is generated more slowly, but selectively, by targeting a wide range of foreign particles (i.e., viruses or bacteria) or molecules that enter the body, known as antigens. Autoimmune diseases are the results of immune system glitches, where the body’s adaptive system recognizes self-antigens as foreign. Thus, the host immune system attacks the self-tissues or organs with a high level of inflammation and causes debilitation in patients. Many current treatments for autoimmune diseases (i.e., multiple sclerosis (MS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA)) have been effective but lead to adverse side effects due to general immune system suppression, which makes patients vulnerable to opportunistic infections. To counter these negative effects, many different avenues of antigen specific treatments are being developed to selectively target the autoreactive immune cells for a specific self-antigen or set of self-antigens while not compromising the general immune system. These approaches include soluble antigenic peptides, bifunctional peptide inhibitors (BPI) including IDAC and Fc-BPI, polymer conjugates, and peptide-drug conjugates. Here, various antigen-specific methods of potential treatments, their efficacy, and limitations will be discussed along with the potential mechanisms of action.
Mahadik, R., Kiptoo, P., Tolbert, T., & Siahaan, T. J. (2022). Immune Modulation by Antigenic Peptides and Antigenic Peptide Conjugates for Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. Medical research archives, 10(5), 10.18103/mra.v10i5.2804. https://doi.org/10.18103/mra.v10i5.2804