Up to 30% of patients with severe hemophilia A will develop inhibitory antibodies to factor VIII (fVIII inhibitors). In addition, autoimmune antibodies to fVIII can develop in non-hemophiliacs, producing acquired hemophilia A, which frequently produces life- or limb-threatening bleeding. Patients with congenital hemophilia who develop inhibitors usually have a polyclonal antibody response directed against the A2 and C2 domains of fVIII. Patients with acquired hemophilia typically have a more limited B-cell epitope response with antibodies directed against the A2 or C2 domain but not both. We have shown that within the C2 domain of fVIII antibody epitope is more important than inhibitory titer in predicting pathogenicity in a murine in vivo bleeding model. In this project we investigated the pathogenicity of a diverse panel of anti-A2 monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) in the murine in vivo bleeding model. We have previously characterized anti-A2 antibodies into groups A, AB, B, BCD, C, D, DE, and E based on the pattern of overlap on the B-cell epitopes in a competition ELISA. Table 1 shows the characteristics of the anti-A2 Mabs. Mabs were injected retro-orbitally into Exon 16 hemophilic (E16) mice at a dose of 0.5 umg per g body weight (∼ 65nM plasma concentration). Fifteen minutes later, mice were injected with B-domain deleted human fVIII at a dose of 180U/kg (∼ 2.5nM plasma concentration). In addition, a subset of Mabs has also been tested at a high dose of 360U/kg (∼5 nM). Two hours after fVIII injection, the mice were anesthetized and a 4mm tail snip was performed. Blood was collected in a tube of normal saline over 40 minutes and measured. 4A4, 2-76, and 1D4 are all high inhibitory titer, type I Mabs that produced significant bleeding with 180 U/kg fVIII when compared to control. In addition, 2-76 and 4A4 were tested at the higher dose of fVIII and significant bleeding was again seen. In comparison, the high titer type II Mab 2-54 had a similar inhibitory titer but no significant bleeding at either dose of fVIII. B94 is a type II inhibitor with a similar inhibitory profile to 2-54, but maximum inhibition is 45% as compared to 82% for 2-54. B94 also was not pathogenic at either fVIII dose tested. Both 4C7—a non-inhibitory Mab—and B25—a very low titer Mab that would be predicted to have residual fVIII activity at the Mab concentration tested—did not produce significant bleeding. The inhibitory titer alone did not predict bleeding phenotype within a diverse panel of anti-A2 Mabs. This discrepancy combined with similar findings in the C2 domain stress the importance of inhibitor properties not detected in the standard Bethesda assay in predicting response to fVIII therapy.
No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.