Induction of partial immune tolerance to factor VIII through prior mucosal exposure to the factor VIII C2 domain

F. E. Rawle, K. P. Pratt, A. Labelle, H. L. Weiner, C. Hough, D. Lillicrap*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background: The development of anti-factor VIII (FVIII) neutralizing antibodies (inhibitors) is a significant obstacle to FVIII replacement therapy. Objective: As mucosal administration of an antigen may induce immune tolerance we have evaluated the efficacy of mucosal antigen exposure to achieve tolerance to FVIII. Methods: We investigated the effects of oral and nasal administration of the purified FVIII C2 domain (FVIII-C2) to FVIII-deficient BALB/c mice prior to FVIII protein challenge. Mice received oral or nasal doses of FVIII-C2, followed by a subcutaneous challenge of either FVIII-C2 or FVIII. The development of anti-FVIII inhibitors, cytokine production by splenocytes in vitro, and adoptive transfer assays were analyzed. Results and Conclusions: Mucosal administration of FVIII-C2 decreases the titer of anti-FVIII-C2 inhibitors after FVIII-C2 challenge, and decreases the percentage of FVIII-C2 specific antibodies after challenge with full-length FVIII. Tolerance induction to FVIII-C2 is associated with increased IL-10 production by splenocytes in vitro, and can be adoptively transferred to naïve mice. This study is the first to demonstrate that tolerance to the FVIII-C2 domain can be induced via the mucosal route. Based on these results, the potential use of FVIII-specific mucosal tolerance induction as an immunotherapy treatment for anti-FVIII inhibitor development warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2172-2179
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Factor VIII
  • Hemophilia
  • Immune tolerance
  • Inhibitors
  • Oral tolerance


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