Elucidation and optimization of molecular factors for dendritic cell responses to surface presented glycans
Hotaling, Nathan Alexander
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Dendritic cells (DCs) are regulators of the immune system and express a class of pattern recognition receptors known as C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) to recognize and respond to carbohydrates (glycans). Dendritic cells are hypothesized to be key mediators in the immune response to implanted materials and ligation of CLRs has been shown to have diverse effects on DC phenotype ranging from tolerogenic to pro-inflammatory. Thus, designing future biomaterials and combination products that harness the potential of CLR ligation on DCs has great promise. Additionally, many of the proteins which adsorb to biomaterials when implanted are glycosylated and thus understanding this interaction would provide further insight into the host response to currently implanted materials. However, DC responses to glycans presented from non-phagocytosable surfaces has not been well characterized and optimal factors for DC phenotype modulation by surface presented glycans are unknown. Additionally, studies relating DC response to glycan structures from soluble and phagocytosable displays to that of non-phagocytosable display have not been performed. This is of critical importance to the field because of the extremely limited supply of complex glycan structures that are able to be obtained. Because of this limited supply of glycans the trend in glycomics has been toward creation of glycan microarrays to assess initial candidates of interest for further study. However, the assumption that cell response to these glycoconjugate microarrays is equivalent to soluble or phagocytosable conjugates has not been validated. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to 1) determine the optimal molecular contextual variables of glycoconjugate presentation from a non-phagocytosable surface, namely, charge, density, and glycan structure for modulating DC phenotype; and 2) determine if modality of glycoconjugate presentation, i.e. soluble, phagocytosable, or non-phagocytosable will modulate DC phenotype differentially. To determine the effect of the molecular contextual variables primary human immature DCs (iDCs) were exposed to a range of adsorbed glycoconjugates in a 384 well plate and their subsequent phenotype assessed via a novel in house produced high throughput (HTP) assay. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) was modified to have a range of glycan densities and isoelectric points to determine which of these were optimal for DC phenotype modulation. Next, several poly-mannose structures were presented to DCs to determine if DC response was structure specific. Finally, contextual variables were modeled in a multivariate general linear model to determine underlying trends in DC behavior and optimal factors for glycan presentation from non-phagocytosable surfaces. To determine the effect of the modality of glycoconjugate display on DCs, optimized glycoconjugates from 1) were adsorbed to the wells of a 384 flat well plate, delivered at varying soluble concentrations, or adsorbed to phagocytosable 1 µm beads and subsequent DC phenotype assessed via the HTP assay. The cell response to the glycoconjugates was then validated to be CLR mediated and the DC response to glycan modality was modeled in another general linear model. Results from these studies show that highly cationized high density glycoconjugates presented from non-phagocytosable flat well display modulate DC phenotype toward a pro-inflammatory phenotype to the greatest extent. Additionally, significant impacts on DC phenotype in response to adsorbed conjugates can be seen when grouping glycan structure by terminal glycan motif. Finally, DC response to glycoconjugates were found to be CLR mediated and that each modality of glycan display is significantly different, in terms of DC phenotype, from the others. These results provide indications for the future design of glycan microarray systems, biomaterials and combination products. Furthermore, this work indicates that different mechanisms are involved in binding and processing of surface bound versus soluble glycoconjugates. With further study these differences could be harnessed for use in the next generation of biomaterials.