Essentials Initial immune cell interactions leading to factor (F) VIII immunity are not well characterized. We assessed cellular interactions and expression profiles in hemophilia A mice. MARCO+, followed by SIGLEC1+ and SIGNR1+ macrophages co-localize most with human FVIII. The splenic transcriptome highlights potential therapeutic targets to prevent inhibitors.
SUMMARY: Background Developing factor VIII (FVIII) inhibitory antibodies is the most serious complication in hemophilia A treatment, representing a significant health and economic burden. A better understanding of the early events in an immune response leading to this outcome may provide insight into inhibitor development. Objective To identify early mediators of FVIII immunity and to detail immune expression profiles in the spleen and liver. Methods C57Bl/6 F8 E16 knockout mice were infused with 5-20 μg (2000-8000 IU kg-1 ) of recombinant FVIII. Spleens were frozen at various time-points post-infusion and stained for FVIII and cellular markers. Splenic and liver RNA expression analysis was performed 3 h post-infusion of 0.6 μg (240 IU kg-1 ) FVIII by nCounter technology using a 561-gene immunology panel. Results FVIII localization in the spleen did not change over 2.5 h. We observed significantly higher co-localization of FVIII with MARCO+ cells compared with SIGLEC1+ and SIGNR1+ in the splenic marginal zone. FVIII exhibited little co-localization with CD11c+ dendritic cells and the macrophage mannose receptor, CD206. Following FVIII infusion, the splenic mRNA profiling identified genes such as Tnfaip6 and Il23r, which are implicated in chemotaxis and a proinflammatory Th17 response, respectively. In contrast, an upregulation of Gfi1 in the liver suggests an anti-inflammatory environment. Conclusions FVIII co-localizes predominantly with marginal zone macrophages (MARCO+ ) in the murine spleen following intravenous infusion. Targeting pathways that are implicated in the early FVIII innate immune response in the spleen may lead to therapeutic interventions to prevent inhibitor formation.