Anti-CD25 monoclonal antibody Fc variants differentially impact regulatory T cells and immune homeostasis

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SummaryInterleukin-2 (IL-2) is a critical regulator of immune homeostasis through its non-redundant role in regulatory T (Treg) cell biology. There is major interest in therapeutic modulation of the IL-2 pathway to promote immune activation in the context of tumour immunotherapy or to enhance immune suppression in the context of transplantation, autoimmunity and inflammatory diseases. Antibody-mediated targeting of the high-affinity IL-2 receptor α chain (IL-2Rα or CD25) offers a direct mechanism to target IL-2 biology and is being actively explored in the clinic. In mouse models, the rat anti-mouse CD25 clone PC61 has been used extensively to investigate the biology of IL-2 and Treg cells; however, there has been controversy and conflicting data on the exact in vivo mechanistic function of PC61. Engineering antibodies to alter Fc/Fc receptor interactions can significantly alter their in vivo function. In this study, we re-engineered the heavy chain constant region of an anti-CD25 monoclonal antibody to generate variants with highly divergent Fc effector function. Using these anti-CD25 Fc variants in multiple mouse models, we investigated the in vivo impact of CD25 blockade versus depletion of CD25+ Treg cells on immune homeostasis. We report that immune homeostasis can be maintained during CD25 blockade but aberrant T-cell activation prevails when CD25+ Treg cells are actively depleted. These results clarify the impact of PC61 on Treg cell biology and reveal an important distinction between CD25 blockade and depletion of CD25+ Treg cells. These findings should inform therapeutic manipulation of the IL-2 pathway by targeting the high-affinity IL-2R.

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