Innate T-?? lymphocytes as new immunological components of anti-tumoral "off-target" effects of the tyrosine kinase inhibitor dasatinib.
ABSTRACT: Kinase inhibitors hold great potential as targeted therapy against malignant cells. Among them, the tyrosine kinase inhibitor dasatinib is known for a number of clinically relevant off-target actions, attributed in part to effects on components of the immune system, especially conventional T-cells and natural killer (NK)-cells. Here, we have hypothesized that dasatinib also influences non-conventional T-?? cell subsets known for their potential anti-tumoral properties, namely iNKT cells and the distinct new innate CD8 T-cell subset. In mice, where the two subsets were originally characterized, an activated state of iNKT cells associated with a shift toward an iNKT cell Th1-phenotype was observed after dasatinib treatment in vivo. Despite decreased frequency of the total memory CD8 T-cell compartment, the proportion of innate-memory CD8 T-cells and their IFN? expression in response to an innate-like stimulation increased in response to dasatinib. Lastly, in patients administered with dasatinib for the treatment of BCR-ABL-positive leukemias, we provided the proof of concept that the kinase inhibitor also influences the two innate T-cell subsets in humans, as attested by their increased frequency in the peripheral blood. These data highlight the potential immunostimulatory capacity of dasatinib on innate T-?? cells, thereby opening new opportunities for chemoimmunotherapy.
Project description:We recently identified a new human subset of NK-like [KIR/NKG2A(+)] CD8(+) T cells with a marked/memory phenotype, high Eomesodermin expression, potent antigen-independent cytotoxic activity, and the capacity to generate IFN-? rapidly after exposure to pro-inflammatory cytokines. These features support the hypothesis that this new member of the innate T cell family in humans, hereafter referred to as innate CD8(+) T cells, has a role in cancer immune surveillance analogous to invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells. Here, we report the first quantitative and functional analysis of innate CD8(+) T cells in a physiopathological context in humans, namely chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), a well-characterized myeloproliferative disorder. We have chosen CML based on our previous report that IL-4 production by iNKT cells was deficient in CML patients at diagnosis and considering the recent evidence in mice that IL-4 promotes the generation/differentiation of innate CD8(+) T cells. We found that the pool of innate CD8(+) T cells was severely reduced in the blood of CML patients at diagnosis. Moreover, like iNKT and NK cells, innate CD8(+) T cells were functionally impaired, as attested by their loss of antigen-independent cytotoxic activity and IFN-? production in response to innate-like stimulation with IL-12?+?IL-18. Remarkably, as previously reported for IL-4 production by iNKT cells, both quantitative and functional deficiencies of innate CD8(+) T cells were at least partially corrected in patients having achieved complete cytogenetic remission following tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy. Finally, direct correlation between the functional potential of innate CD8(+) T and iNKT cells was found when considering all healthy donors and CML patients in diagnosis and remission, in accordance with the iNKT cell-dependent generation of innate CD8(+) T cells reported in mice. All in all, our data demonstrate that CML is associated with deficiencies of innate CD8(+) T cells that are restored upon remission, thereby suggesting their possible contribution to disease control. More generally, our study strongly supports the existence of an innate iNKT/innate CD8(+) T-cell axis in humans and reveals its potential contribution to the restoration of tumor immune surveillance.
Project description:Temporal down-regulation of the CD8 co-receptor after receiving positive-selection signals has been proposed to serve as an important determinant to segregate helper versus cytotoxic lineages by generating differences in the duration of TCR signaling between MHC-I and MHC-II selected thymocytes. By contrast, little is known about whether CD8 also modulates TCR signaling engaged by the non-classical MHC-I-like molecule, CD1d, during development of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells. Here, we show that constitutive transgenic CD8 expression resulted in enhanced differentiation of innate memory-like CD8+ thymocytes in both a cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic manner, the latter being accomplished by an increase in the IL-4-producing iNKT2 subset. Skewed iNKT2 differentiation requires cysteine residues in the intracellular domain of CD8? that are essential for transmitting cellular signaling. Collectively, these findings shed a new light on the relevance of CD8 down-regulation in shaping the balance of iNKT-cell subsets by modulating TCR signaling.
Project description:Peripheral invariant NKT cells (iNKT) and CD8+ tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM) express high levels of the extracellular ATP receptor P2RX7 in mice. High extracellular ATP concentrations or NAD-mediated P2RX7 ribosylation by the enzyme ARTC2.2 can induce P2RX7 pore formation and cell death. Because both ATP and NAD are released during tissue preparation for analysis, cell death through these pathways may compromise the analysis of iNKT and CD8+ TRM Indeed, ARTC2.2 blockade enhanced recovery of viable liver iNKT and TRM The expression of ARTC2.2 and P2RX7 on distinct iNKT subsets and TRM is unclear, however, as is the impact of recovery from other nonlymphoid sites. In this study, we performed a comprehensive analysis of ARTC2.2 and P2RX7 expression in iNKT and CD8+ T cells in diverse tissues, at steady-state and after viral infection. NKT1 cells and CD8+ TRM express high levels of both ARTC2.2 and P2RX7 compared with NKT2, NKT17, and CD8+ circulating memory subsets. Using nanobody-mediated ARTC2.2 antagonism, we showed that ARTC2.2 blockade enhanced NKT1 and TRM recovery from nonlymphoid tissues during cell preparation. Moreover, blockade of this pathway was essential to preserve functionality, viability, and proliferation of both populations. We also showed that short-term direct P2RX7 blockade enhanced recovery of TRM, although to a lesser degree. In summary, our data show that short-term in vivo blockade of the ARTC2.2/P2RX7 axis permits much improved flow cytometry-based phenotyping and enumeration of murine iNKT and TRM from nonlymphoid tissues, and it represents a crucial step for functional studies of these populations.
Project description:Anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) is being used increasingly to prevent graft-versus-host disease (GvHD); however, its impact on immune reconstitution is relatively unknown. We (i) studied immune reconstitution after ATG-conditioned hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT), (ii) determined the factors influencing the reconstitution, and (iii) compared it with non-ATG-conditioned HCT.Immune cell subset counts were determined at 1-24 months post-transplant in 125 HCT recipients who received ATG during conditioning. Subset counts were also determined in 46 non-ATG-conditioned patients (similarly treated).(i) Reconstitution after ATG-conditioned HCT was fast for innate immune cells, intermediate for B cells and CD8 T cells, and very slow for CD4 T cells and invariant natural killer T (iNKT) (iNKT) cells. (ii) Faster reconstitution after ATG-conditioned HCT was associated with a higher number of cells of the same subset transferred with the graft in the case of memory B cells, naive CD4 T cells, naive CD8 T cells, iNKT cells and myeloid dendritic cells; lower recipient age in the case of naive CD4 T cells and naive CD8 T cells; cytomegalovirus recipient seropositivity in the case of memory/effector T cells; an absence of GvHD in the case of naive B cells; lower ATG serum levels in the case of most T-cell subsets, including iNKT cells; and higher ATG levels in the case of NK cells and B cells. (iii) Compared with non-ATG-conditioned HCT, reconstitution after ATG-conditioned HCT was slower for CD4 T cells, and faster for NK cells and B cells.ATG worsens the reconstitution of CD4 T cells but improves the reconstitution of NK and B cells.
Project description:Unconventional T cells are defined by their capacity to respond to signals other than the well-known complex of peptides and major histocompatibility complex proteins. Among the burgeoning family of unconventional T cells, innate-like CD8(+) T cells in the mouse were discovered in the early 2000s. This subset of CD8(+) T cells bears a memory phenotype without having encountered a foreign antigen and can respond to innate-like IL-12?+?IL-18 stimulation. Although the concept of innate memory CD8(+) T cells is now well established in mice, whether an equivalent memory NK-like T-cell population exists in humans remains under debate. We recently reported that CD8(+) T cells responding to innate-like IL-12?+?IL-18 stimulation and co-expressing the transcription factor Eomesodermin (Eomes) and KIR/NKG2A membrane receptors with a memory/EMRA phenotype may represent a new, functionally distinct innate T cell subset in humans. In this review, after a summary on the known innate CD8(+) T-cell features in the mouse, we propose Eomes together with KIR/NKG2A and CD49d as a signature to standardize the identification of this innate CD8(+) T-cell subset in humans. Next, we discuss IL-4 and IL-15 involvement in the generation of innate CD8(+) T cells and particularly its possible dependency on the promyelocytic leukemia zinc-finger factor expressing iNKT cells, an innate T cell subset well documented for its susceptibility to tumor immune subversion. After that, focusing on cancer diseases, we provide new insights into the potential role of these innate CD8(+) T cells in a physiopathological context in humans. Based on empirical data obtained in cases of chronic myeloid leukemia, a myeloproliferative syndrome controlled by the immune system, and in solid tumors, we observe both the possible contribution of innate CD8(+) T cells to cancer disease control and their susceptibility to tumor immune subversion. Finally, we note that during tumor progression, innate CD8(+) T lymphocytes could be controlled by immune checkpoints. This study significantly contributes to understanding of the role of NK-like CD8(+) T cells and raises the question of the possible involvement of an iNKT/innate CD8(+) T cell axis in cancer.
Project description:Invariant NKT (iNKT) cells are unconventional innate-like T cells demonstrating potent antitumor function in conventional mouse models. However, the iNKT cell ligands have had limited efficacy in human antitumor clinical trials, mostly due to the profound differences in the properties and compositions of iNKT cells between the two species, including the presence of a CD8(+) subset of iNKT cells only in humans. To build reliable in vivo models for studying human iNKT cells, we recently developed the first humanized mouse model (hCD1d-KI) with human CD1d knocked in. To further humanize the mouse model, we now introduced the human invariant NKT TCR?-chain (V?24J?18) into the hCD1d-knockin mice. Similar to humans, this humanized mouse model developed a subset of CD8??(+) iNKT cells among other human-like iNKT subsets. The presence of the CD8??(+) iNKT cells in the thymus suggests that these cells developed in the thymus. In the periphery, these NKT cells showed a strong Th1-biased cytokine response and potent cytotoxicity for syngeneic tumor cells upon activation, as do human CD8??(+) iNKT cells. The low binding avidity of iNKT TCRs to the human CD1d/lipid complex and high prevalence of V?7 TCR? among the CD8(+) iNKT cells strongly point to a low avidity-based developmental program for these iNKT cells, which included the suppression of Th-POK and upregulation of eomesodermin transcriptional factors. Our establishment of this extensively humanized mouse model phenotypically and functionally reflecting the human CD1d/iNKT TCR system will greatly facilitate the future design and optimization of iNKT cell-based immunotherapies.
Project description:Mounting an effective immune response relies critically on the coordinated interactions between adaptive and innate compartments. How and where immune cells from these different compartments interact is still poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that the cross-talk between invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT) and CD8+ T cells in the spleen, essential for initiating productive immune responses, is biphasic and occurs at 2 distinct sites. Codelivery of antigen and adjuvant to antigen-presenting cells results in: 1) initial short-lived interactions (0 to 6 h), between CD8+ T cells, dendritic cells (DCs), and iNKT cells recruited outside the white pulp; 2) followed by long-lasting contacts (12 to 24 h) between iNKT cells, DCs, and CD8+ T cells occurring in a 3-way interaction profile within the white pulp. Both CXCR3 and CCR4 are essential to orchestrate this highly dynamic process and play nonredundant in T cell memory generation. While CXCR3 promotes memory T cells, CCR4 supports short-lived effector cell generation. We believe our work provides insights into the initiation of T cell responses in the spleen and their consequences for T cell differentiation.
Project description:Invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT cells) can produce copious amounts of interleukin 4 (IL-4) early during infection. However, indirect evidence suggests they may produce this immunomodulatory cytokine in the steady state. Through intracellular staining for transcription factors, we have defined three subsets of iNKT cells (NKT1, NKT2 and NKT17) that produced distinct cytokines; these represented diverse lineages and not developmental stages, as previously thought. These subsets exhibited substantial interstrain variation in numbers. In several mouse strains, including BALB/c, NKT2 cells were abundant and were stimulated by self ligands to produce IL-4. In those strains, steady-state IL-4 conditioned CD8(+) T cells to become 'memory-like', increased serum concentrations of immunoglobulin E (IgE) and caused dendritic cells to produce chemokines. Thus, iNKT cell-derived IL-4 altered immunological properties under normal steady-state conditions.
Project description:A significant barrier to effective immune clearance of cancer is loss of antitumor cytotoxic T cell activity. Antibodies to block pro-apoptotic/downmodulatory signals to T cells are currently being tested. Because invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT) can regulate the balance of Th1/Th2 cellular immune responses, we characterized the frequencies of circulating iNKT cell subsets in 21 patients with melanoma who received the anti-CTLA4 monoclonal antibody tremelimumab alone and 8 patients who received the antibody in combination with MART-126-35 peptide-pulsed dendritic cells (MART-1/DC). Blood T cell phenotypes and functionality were characterized by flow cytometry before and after treatment. iNKT cells exhibited the central memory phenotype and showed polyfunctional cytokine production. In the combination treatment group, high frequencies of pro-inflammatory Th1 iNKT CD8(+) cells correlated with positive clinical responses. These results indicate that iNKT cells play a critical role in regulating effective antitumor T cell activity.
Project description:Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells represent a subgroup of innate-like T cells and play an important role in immune responses against certain pathogens. In addition, they have been linked to autoimmunity and antitumor immunity. iNKT cells consist of several subsets with distinct functions; however, the transcriptional networks controlling iNKT subset differentiation are still not fully characterized. Myc-associated zinc-finger-related factor (MAZR, also known as PATZ1) is an essential transcription factor for CD8+ lineage differentiation of conventional T cells. Here, we show that MAZR plays an important role in iNKT cells. T-cell lineage-specific deletion of MAZR resulted in an iNKT cell-intrinsic defect that led to an increase in iNKT2 cell numbers, concurrent with a reduction in iNKT1 and iNKT17 cells. Consistent with the alteration in the subset distribution, deletion of MAZR also resulted in an increase in the percentage of IL-4-producing cells. Moreover, MAZR-deficient iNKT cells displayed an enhanced expression of Erg2 and ThPOK, key factors for iNKT cell generation and subset differentiation, indicating that MAZR controls iNKT cell development through fine-tuning of their expression levels. Taken together, our study identified MAZR as an essential transcription factor regulating iNKT cell subset differentiation and effector function.