Nano-MDSC-Thera - Novel Immunotherapeutic Approaches for Autoimmune Diseases based on Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells induced by Nanomaterials

Program for excellent projects of young researchers (PROMIS), Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia, 6062673, 2020-2022
Principal Investigator: Dr Sergej Tomic, Assistant Research Professor, Institute for Application of Nuclear Energy, University of Belgrade
Participants from IMGGE: Dr Jelena Djokic, Dusan Radojevic 

There is a clear unmet clinical need for new effective treatment approaches for multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease (AD) marked by overactivation of inflammatory myeloid cells and dysbiosis in gut microbiota (GM). Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) display excellent immunoregulatory potential, but their role and therapeutic potential in MS is insufficiently investigated. Nano-MDSC-Thera gathered a multidisciplinary team from the Institute for Application of Nuclear Energy, Institute for Molecular Genetic and Genetical Engineering and Faculty for Technology and Metallurgy, to explore new approaches for AD treatments based on MDSC. By investigating: correlations between GM and the functions of human MDSC in vitro (T.1) and therapeutic potential of these cells in a model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice (T.2), the capacity to increase MDSC tolerogenic properties by their targeting via immunosuppressive nanoparticles (NP) in vitro (T.3), and in vivo by using NP delivery via degradable nanofibers, in EAE model (T.4) Nano-MDSC-Thera will increase the fundamental understanding of MDSC role in AD, and their therapeutic potential: 1) as a cell-based therapy with in vitro generated MDSC, 2) by their targeted induction with cutting-edge nanomedical approach, and 3) by finding new ways to increase MDSC tolerogenic effects in AD via modulation of gut microbiota composition and utilization of microbial metabolites. This will lead to identification of more precise targets and approaches for AD therapies, new projects aimed towards clinical trials, and reduction of AD treatments costs in healthcare sector. It will also enable the improvement of excellence of new multidisciplinary research team, form new young experts in this area, improve scientific and innovative capacities of beneficiaries and their stronger relations with the industry sector, and increase awareness of AD on wider population.


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