The development of persistent, high titer inhibitors represents a serious complication of the treatment of patients with severe hemophilia A. Elimination of these inhibitory antibodies is usually attempted through repeated administration of high doses of factor VIII. Such regimens are costly, time-consuming and often fail when the inhibitor is of very high titer or of longstanding duration. A potential alternative approach to inhibit the production of antifactor VIII antibodies is blockade of the T-cell/B-cell collaboration that is required to generate humoral responses. One cognate receptor pair that is required for T-cell-dependent B-cell activation consists of CD40, which is expressed on B-lymphocytes and other antigen presenting cells, and CD40 ligand (CD40L, CD154), which is transiently expressed on activated T-cells. To determine whether blockade of the CD40-CD40L pathway can inhibit the production of anti-factor VIII antibodies, a clinical study has been designed in which patients with hemophilia A and a high titer inhibitor (> 10 BU) receive monthly exposures to factor VIII in the presence of a humanized mouse monoclonal antibody to human CD40L (hu5c8*). Subjects must be between the ages of 5 and 60 years old and be HIV seronegative. To date, three subjects have received at least three doses of hu5c8 at the initial protocol dose of 10 mg/kg. Preliminary results suggest that anti-CD40L inhibition may be effective in blocking anamnestic responses to factor VIII in some patients. It remains to be determined whether this effect will persist and whether patients may eventually become tolerant to factor VIII in the absence of hu5c8 co-administration.
View details for PubMedID 11187868