Mechanism of the immune response to human factor VIII in murine hemophilia A

H. Wu, M. Reading, J. Qian, D. K. Okita, E. Parker, P. Lollar, L. W. Hoyer, B. M. Conti-Fine

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Mice genetically deficient in factor VIII (fVIII) are a model of hemophilia A. As a first step to reproduce in this mouse model what occurs over time in hemophilia A patients treated with human fVIII (hfVIII), we have investigated the time course and the characteristics of their immune response to hfVIII, after multiple intravenous injections. Anti-hfVIII antibodies appeared after four to five injections. They were IgG1 and to a lesser extent IgG2, indicating that they were induced by both Th2 and Th1 cells. Inhibitors appeared after six injections. CD4+ enriched splenocytes from hfVIII-treated mice proliferated in response to fVIII and secreted IL-10: in a few mice they secreted also IFN-γ and in one mouse IL-4, but never IL-2. A hfVIII-specific T cell line derived from hfVIII-treated mice secreted both IL-4 and IFN-γ, suggesting that it included both Th1 and Th2 cells. CD4+ enriched splenocytes of hfVIII-treated mice recognized all hfVIII domains. Thus, hemophilic mice develop an immune response to hfVIII administered intravenously similar to that of hemophilia A patients. Their anti-hfVIII antibodies can be inhibitors and belong to IgG subclasses homologous to those of inhibitors in hemophilic patients; their anti-hfVIII CD4+ cells recognize a complex repertoire and both Th1 and Th2 cytokines, and especially IL-10, may drive the antibody synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
JournalThrombosis and Haemostasis
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001


  • Factor VIII
  • Immune response
  • Inhibitors
  • T cells


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