During treatment with protein therapeutics, such as monoclonal antibodies, the development of anti-drug antibodies is a serious side-effect of modern pharmacology. Anti-drug antibodies are produced as the number and exposure to therapeutic proteins increase. In this context, less immunogenic responses could diminish these noxious effects. Biophysical characterization of antigens, that is size, chemical composition, physical form, and degrability, are known to influence the outcome of immune responses. Here, using chemical modification, we have prepared oligomers of hen egg lysozyme (HEL), 3- to 5-mer, as a typical antigen in immunology and evaluated the efficacy as a tolerogen in HEL-specific antibody responses. Our results clearly demonstrated that pre-exposed the HEL-oligomers into mice effectively suppressed HEL-specific IgG responses regardless of the cross-linking mode. Therefore, the oligomerization is a method to induce tolerogenicity of proteins and may emerge as a promising strategy to control the production of undesirable anti-protein drug antibodies.
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