, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 167-177
Date: 16 Sep 2009

Oral Administration of OKT3 Monoclonal Antibody to Human Subjects Induces a Dose-Dependent Immunologic Effect in T Cells and Dendritic Cells

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Parenteral OKT3 is used to treat transplant rejection and a humanized anti-CD3 Mab has shown positive clinical effects in new onset diabetes. Oral administration of anti-CD3 has not been tested in humans, but suppresses autoimmunity in animal models. Beta-glucosylceramide enhances NKT cell and regulatory T cell activity and enhances the effects of oral anti-CD3 in animals.

Materials and methods

Fifteen healthy volunteers (three per group) received orally administered OKT3 over a dose range of 0.2 to 5.0 mg daily with or without beta-glucosylceramide 7.5 mg for 5 days. Safety and immune parameters were measured on days 5, 10, and 30.

Results and discussion

Oral OKT3 enhanced T cell proliferation, suppressed Th1 and Th17 responses by 43% and 41%, respectively, increased TGF-β/IL-10 expression and decreased IL-23/IL-6 expression by dendritic cells, and affected the IgG repertoire as measured by antigen arrays. Co-administration of oral beta-glucosylceramide induced similar effects. No side effects were observed and no subjects developed human anti-mouse antibodies.


These findings demonstrate that oral anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody is safe and biologically active in humans and presents a new avenue for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.