Generation of highly activated, antigen-specific tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells induced by a novel T cell-targeted immunotherapy.
ABSTRACT: The induction of tumor-targeted, cytotoxic T lymphocytes has been recognized as a key component to successful immunotherapy. DPX-based treatment was previously shown to effectively recruit activated CD8+ T cells to the tumor. Herein, we analyze the unique phenotype of the CD8+ T cells recruited into the tumor in response to DPX-based therapy, and how combination with checkpoint inhibitors impacts T cell response. C3-tumor-bearing mice were treated with cyclophosphamide (CPA) for seven continuous days every other week, followed by DPX treatment along with anti-CTLA-4 and/or anti-PD-1. Efficacy, immunogenicity, and CD8+ T cells tumor infiltration were assessed. The expression of various markers, including checkpoint markers, peptide specificity, and proliferation and activation markers, was determined by flow cytometry. tSNE analysis of the flow data revealed a resident phenotype of CD8+ T cells (PD-1+TIM-3+CTLA-4+) within untreated tumors, whereas DPX/CPA treatment induced recruitment of a novel population of CD8+ T cells (PD-1+TIM-3+CTLA-4-) within tumors. Combination of anti-CTLA-4 (ipilimumab) with DPX/CPA versus DPX/CPA alone significantly increased survival and inhibition of tumor growth, without changing overall systemic immunogenicity. Addition of checkpoint inhibitors did not significantly change the phenotype of the newly recruited cells induced by DPX/CPA. Yet, anti-CTLA-4 treatment in combination with DPX/CPA enhanced a non-antigen specific response within the tumor. Finally, the tumor-recruited CD8+ T cells induced by DPX/CPA were highly activated, antigen-specific, and proliferative, while resident phenotype CD8+ T cells, seemingly initially exhausted, were reactivated with combination treatment. This study supports the potential of combining DPX/CPA with ipilimumab to further enhance survival clinically.
Project description:Maternal decidual CD8+ T (dCD8+ T) cells must integrate the antithetical demands of maternal-fetal tolerance and anti-viral immunity to establish a successful pregnancy. T-cell immunoglobulin mucin-3 (Tim-3) and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) are two important co-inhibitory molecules that regulating CD8+ T cells responses during infection and tumor. In the present study, we examined the co-expression of Tim-3 and CTLA-4 on CD8+ T cells during pregnancy and found the higher frequency of Tim-3+CTLA-4+dCD8+ T cells in response to trophoblasts. This Tim-3+CTLA-4+dCD8+ T cells subset showed an active status and produced more anti-inflammatory cytokines. Furthermore, the decreased number and altered function of Tim-3+CTLA-4+dCD8+ T cells correlated to miscarriage. Combined blocking Tim-3 and CTLA-4 pathways were highly effective in inhibiting the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines and were detrimental to the maintenance of pregnancy. Together, these findings supported that Tim-3 and CTLA-4 pathways might play positive roles in the establishment and/or maintenance of maternal-fetal tolerance so to promote the maintenance of normal pregnancy. So the reproductive safety must be considered, especially when anti-Tim-3/CTLA-4 antibody (and other immune checkpoint inhibitors) are used in pregnancy.
Project description:It is assumed that anti-CTLA-4 antibodies cause tumor rejection by blocking negative signaling from B7-CTLA-4 interactions. Surprisingly, at concentrations considerably higher than plasma levels achieved by clinically effective dosing, the anti-CTLA-4 antibody Ipilimumab blocks neither B7 trans-endocytosis by CTLA-4 nor CTLA-4 binding to immobilized or cell-associated B7. Consequently, Ipilimumab does not increase B7 on dendritic cells (DCs) from either CTLA4 gene humanized (Ctla4 h/h ) or human CD34+ stem cell-reconstituted NSG™ mice. In Ctla4 h/m mice expressing both human and mouse CTLA4 genes, anti-CTLA-4 antibodies that bind to human but not mouse CTLA-4 efficiently induce Treg depletion and Fc receptor-dependent tumor rejection. The blocking antibody L3D10 is comparable to the non-blocking Ipilimumab in causing tumor rejection. Remarkably, L3D10 progenies that lose blocking activity during humanization remain fully competent in inducing Treg depletion and tumor rejection. Anti-B7 antibodies that effectively block CD4 T cell activation and de novo CD8 T cell priming in lymphoid organs do not negatively affect the immunotherapeutic effect of Ipilimumab. Thus, clinically effective anti-CTLA-4 mAb causes tumor rejection by mechanisms that are independent of checkpoint blockade but dependent on the host Fc receptor. Our data call for a reappraisal of the CTLA-4 checkpoint blockade hypothesis and provide new insights for the next generation of safe and effective anti-CTLA-4 mAbs.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Tumour infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) based adoptive cell therapy (ACT) is a promising treatment for patients with advanced melanoma. Retrospective studies suggested an association between previous treatment with anti-CTLA-4 antibodies and long term survival after subsequent ACT. Thus, we hypothesized that treatment with anti-CTLA-4 antibodies can induce favourable changes to be detected in TILs. RESULTS:Expanded T cells from Ipilimumab treated patients had a higher proportion of cells expressing CD27, intracellular CTLA-4, TIM-3 and LAG-3. In addition, broader and more frequent T cell responses against common tumour antigens were detected in patients treated with Ipilimumab as compared to anti-CTLA-4 naïve patients. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Expanded TILs were obtained from patients with advanced melanoma who had received Ipilimumab in the previous six months, or had not received any type of anti-CTLA-4 antibody. T cell specificity and expression of phenotypic and exhaustion markers were scrutinized as well as functional properties. CONCLUSIONS:Ipilimumab may induce tumor-infiltration of T cells of a more naïve phenotype expressing markers related to activation or exhaustion. Additionally, Ipilimumab may increase the frequency of T cells recognizing common tumour associated antigens.
Project description:HLA-B*35Px is associated with HIV-1 disease rapid progression to AIDS. However, the mechanism(s) underlying this deleterious effect of this HLA allele on HIV-1 infection outcome has not fully understood. CD8+ T cells play a crucial role to control the viral replication but impaired CD8+ T cells represent a major hallmark of HIV-1 infection. Here, we examined the effector functions of CD8+ T cells restricted by HLA-B*35Px (HLA-B*35:03 and HLA-B*35:02), HLA-B*27/B57 and non-HLA-B*27/B57 (e.g. HLA-A*01, A*02, A*03, A*11, A*24, A*26, B*40, B*08, B*38, B*44). CD8+ T cells restricted by HLA-B*35Px exhibited an impaired phenotype compared with those restricted by HLA-B*27/B57 and even non-HLA-B*27/B57. CD8+ T cells restricted by non-HLA-B*27/B57 when encountered their cognate epitopes upregulated TIM-3 and thus became suppressed by regulatory T cells (Tregs) via TIM-3: Galectin-9 (Gal-9). Strikingly, CD8+ T cells restricted by HLA-B*35Px expressed fewer TIM-3 and therefore did not get suppressed by Tregs, which was similar to CD8+ T cells restricted by HLA-B*27/B57. Instead, CD8+ T cells restricted by HLA-B*35Px upon recognition of their cognate epitopes upregulated CTLA-4. The transcriptional and impaired phenotype (e.g. poor effector functions) of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells restricted by HLA-B*35 was related to persistent CTLA-4, elevated Eomes and blimp-1 but poor T-bet expression. As such, anti-CTLA-4 antibody, Ipilimumab, reversed the impaired proliferative capacity of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells restricted by HLA-B*35Px but not others. This study supports the concept that CD8+ T resistance to Tregs-mediated suppression is related to allele restriction rather than the epitope specificity. Our results aid to explain a novel mechanism for the inability of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells restricted by HLA-B*35Px to control viral replication.
Project description:PURPOSE:CTLA-4 was the first inhibitory immune checkpoint to be identified. Two mAbs, ipilimumab (IgG1) and tremelimumab (IgG2), which block the function of CTLA-4, have demonstrated durable clinical activity in a subset of patients with advanced solid malignancies by augmenting effector T-cell-mediated immune responses. Studies in mice suggest that anti-CTLA-4 mAbs may also selectively deplete intratumoral FOXP3+ regulatory T cells via an Fc-dependent mechanism. However, it is unclear whether the depletion of FOXP3+ cells occurs in patients with cancer treated with anti-CTLA-4 therapies. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:Quantitative IHC was used to evaluate the densities of intratumoral CD4+, CD8+, and FOXP3+ cells in stage-matched melanoma (n = 19), prostate cancer (n = 17), and bladder cancer (n = 9) samples treated with ipilimumab and in paired melanoma tumors (n = 18) treated with tremelimumab. These findings were corroborated with multiparametric mass cytometry analysis of tumor-infiltrating cells from paired fresh melanoma tumors (n = 5) treated with ipilimumab. RESULTS:Both ipilimumab and tremelimumab increase infiltration of intratumoral CD4+ and CD8+ cells without significantly changing or depleting FOXP3+ cells within the tumor microenvironment. CONCLUSIONS:Anti-CTLA-4 immunotherapy does not deplete FOXP3+ cells in human tumors, which suggests that their efficacy could be enhanced by modifying the Fc portions of the mAbs to enhance Fc-mediated depletion of intratumoral regulatory T cells.See related commentary by Quezada and Peggs, p. 1130.
Project description:Background: Cancer patients often display dysfunctional antitumor T-cell responses. Because noteworthy benefits of immune checkpoint pathway blockade, such as programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) inhibitors, have been achieved in multiple advanced cancers, the next critical question is which mono-blockade or combinatorial blockade regimens may reinvigorate antitumor T-cell immunity in those cancer patients while limiting immune-related adverse effects. Method: This study recruited, in total, 172 primary cancer patients (131 were blood-tumor-matched patients) who were treatment-naïve prior to the surgeries or biopsies covering the eight most prevalent types of cancer. With access to fresh surgical samples, this study simultaneously investigated the ex vivo expression level of eight known immune checkpoint receptors [PD-1, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 [CTLA-4], T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin-domain containing-3 [Tim-3], 2B4, killer cell lectin like receptor G1 [KLRG-1], TIGIT, B- and T-lymphocyte attenuator [BTLA], and CD160] on tumor-infiltrating T cells (TILs) and paired circulating T cells in blood from a 131-patient cohort. Results: We found increased an expression of PD-1 and Tim-3 but a decreased expression of BTLA on TILs when compared with peripheral blood from multiple types of cancer. Moreover, our co-expression analysis of key immune checkpoint receptors delineates "shared" subsets as PD-1+Tim-3+TIGIT+2B4+KLRG-1-CTLA-4- and PD-1+TIGIT+2B4+Tim-3-KLRG-1-CTLA-4- from bulk CD8 TILs. Furthermore, we found that a higher frequency of advanced differentiation stage T cells (CD27-CCR7-CD45RA-) among the "shared" subset (PD-1+Tim-3+TIGIT+2B4+KLRG-1-CTLA-4-) in bulk CD8 TILs was associated with poorly differentiated cancer type in cervical cancer patients. Conclusions: To our knowledge, our study is the first comprehensive analysis of key immune checkpoint receptors on T cells in treatment-naïve, primary cancer patients from the eight most prevalent types of cancer. These findings might provide useful information for future design of mono-blockade/combinatorial blockades and/or genetically modified T-cell immunotherapy.
Project description:Tumor immune escape is associated with both, the expression of immune checkpoint molecules on peripheral immune cells and soluble forms of the human leukocyte antigen-G (HLA-G) in the blood, which are consequently discussed as clinical biomarker for disease status and outcome of cancer patients. HLA-G preferentially interacts with the inhibitory receptor immunoglobulin-like transcript (ILT) receptor-2 in the blood and can be secreted as free soluble molecules (sHLA-G) or via extracellular vesicles (EV). To investigate the contribution of these two forms to the expression of checkpoint molecules in peripheral blood, we primed peripheral blood mononuclear cells with purified soluble sHLA-G1 protein, or EV preparations derived from SUM149 cells transfected with membrane-bound HLA-G1 or control vector prior to anti-CD3/CD28 T cell activation. Our study demonstrated that priming of PBMC with sHLA-G1 protein prior to 48 h activation resulted in enhanced frequencies of ILT-2 expressing CD8+ T cells, and in an upregulation of immune checkpoint molecules CTLA-4, PD-1, TIM-3, and CD95 exclusively on ILT-2 positive CD8+ T cells. In contrast, when PBMC were primed with EV (containing HLA-G1 or not) upregulation of CTLA-4, PD-1, TIM-3, and CD95 occurred exclusively on ILT-2 negative CD8+ T cells. Taken together, our data suggest that priming with sHLA-G forms induces a pronounced immunosuppressive/exhausted phenotype and that priming with sHLA-G1 protein or EV derived from HLA-G1 positive or negative SUM149 cells affects CD8+ T cells complementary by targeting either the ILT-2 positive or negative subpopulation, respectively, after T cell activation.
Project description:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and chronic hepatitis C (CHC) are characterized by exhaustion of the specific CD8(+) T cell response. This process involves enhancement of negative co-stimulatory molecules, such as programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1), cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4), 2B4, Tim-3, CD160 and LAG-3, which is linked to intrahepatic overexpression of some of the cognate ligands, such as PD-L1, on antigen presenting cells and thereby favouring a tolerogenic environment. Therapies that disrupt these negative signalling mechanisms represent promising therapeutic tools with the potential to restore reactivity of the specific CD8(+) T cell response. In this review we discuss the impressive in vitro and in vivo results that have been recently achieved in HCC, CHB and CHC by blocking these negative receptors with monoclonal antibodies against these immune checkpoint modulators. The article mainly focuses on the role of CTLA-4 and PD-1 blocking monoclonal antibodies, the first ones to have reached clinical practice. The humanized monoclonal antibodies against CTLA-4 (tremelimumab and ipilimumab) and PD-1 (nivolumab and pembrolizumab) have yielded good results in testing of HCC and chronic viral hepatitis patients. Trelimumab, in particular, has shown a significant increase in the time to progression in HCC, while nivolumab has shown a remarkable effect on hepatitis C viral load reduction. The research on the role of ipilimumab, nivolumab and pembrolizumab on HCC is currently underway.
Project description:Immune-checkpoint blockade enhances antitumor responses against cancers. One cancer type that is sensitive to checkpoint blockade is squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN), which we use here to study limitations of this treatment modality. We observed that CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in SCCHN and melanoma express excess immune checkpoints components PD-1 and Tim-3 and are also CD27-/CD28-, a phenotype we previously associated with immune dysfunction and suppression. In ex vivo experiments, patients' CD8+ TILs with this phenotype suppressed proliferation of autologous peripheral blood T cells. Similar phenotype and function of TILs was observed in the TC-1 mouse tumor model. Treatment of TC-1 tumors with anti-PD-1 or anti-Tim-3 slowed tumor growth in vivo and reversed the suppressive function of multi-checkpoint+ CD8+ TIL. Similarly, treatment of both human and mouse PD-1+ Tim-3+ CD8+ TILs with anticheckpoint antibodies ex vivo reversed their suppressive function. These suppressive CD8+ TILs from mice and humans expressed ligands for PD-1 and Tim-3 and exerted their suppressive function via IL10 and close contact. To model therapeutic strategies, we combined anti-PD-1 blockade with IL7 cytokine therapy or with transfer of antigen-specific T cells. Both strategies resulted in synergistic antitumor effects and reduced suppressor cell function. These findings enhance our understanding of checkpoint blockade in cancer treatment and identify strategies to promote synergistic activities in the context of other immunotherapies.
Project description:In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first new therapy for melanoma in more than a decade, ipilimumab (Yervoy). Ipilimumab is a novel antibody that blocks cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4), a regulatory molecule expressed on activated T cells. Blockade of this important immune checkpoint can lead to durable tumor regression, and phase III studies show an overall survival benefit for patients with advanced melanoma. During the clinical development of ipilimumab, several unique features of this immunotherapy were identified, including the remarkable durability of responses and a distinct side-effects profile. We review the preclinical and clinical development of CTLA-4-blocking antibodies and describe current practices using ipilimumab for the treatment of advanced melanoma. Unique clinical issues related to ipilimumab will be summarized. Lastly, we will briefly preview combination therapies that incorporate ipilimumab and new checkpoint-targeting antibodies currently in clinical development.