possible auto-immune response to nasally administered neurohormone agonist?

P. Sage polysage at yahoo.com
Tue Jun 17 16:43:18 EST 2003

I am involved in a phase 2 study of a new drug which is a neurohormone
agonist. It is a cyclic polypeptide consisting about 8 amino acids,
and is administered intranasally.

Recently, I read an article about a novel type of influenza vaccine
which consists of a peptide that is delivered as a nasal spray. The
study showed that antibodies to the peptide were produced by the
animals being tested. (the article is here:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030528081410.htm )

My question is: is it possible that people could develop antibodies to
this neurohormone agonist, since it is also a peptide delivered as a
nasal spray?

If so, I wonder if there is a potential auto-immune reaction, in which
the body would attack its own neurohormone?

It is true that self proteins or polypeptides don't usually cause
antibodies to develop, however there are many documented cases in
which compounds which are similar but not identical to self molecules
do cause auto-immune reactions. One of the more serious of these is
Ankylosing Spondylitis, thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction
provoked by certain bacterial antigens.

There is also the question of route of administration -- the same
peptide which would cause no antibody reaction when presented orally
could possibly cause one when presented intra-nasally, I think.

Anyway, is this a real concern, or an I just being paranoid. What do
you (experts) think?


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