Adoptive immunotherapies using T cells genetically redirected with a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) or T cell receptor (TCR) are entering mainstream clinical practice. Despite encouraging results, some patients do not respond to current therapies. In part, this phenomenon has been associated with infusion of reduced numbers of early memory T cells. Herein, we report that AKT signaling inhibition is compatible with CAR and TCR retroviral transduction of human T cells while promoting a CD62L-expressing central memory phenotype. Critically, this intervention did not compromise cell yield. Mechanistically, disruption of AKT signaling preserved MAPK activation and promoted the intranuclear localization of FOXO1, a transcriptional regulator of T cell memory. Consequently, AKT signaling inhibition synchronized the transcriptional profile for FOXO1-dependent target genes across multiple donors. Expression of an AKT-resistant FOXO1 mutant phenocopied the influence of AKT signaling inhibition, while addition of AKT signaling inhibition to T cells expressing mutant FOXO1 failed to further augment the frequency of CD62L-expressing cells. Finally, treatment of established B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia was superior using anti-CD19 CAR–modified T cells transduced and expanded in the presence of an AKT inhibitor compared with conventionally grown T cells. Thus, inhibition of signaling along the PI3K/AKT axis represents a generalizable strategy to generate large numbers of receptor-modified T cells with an early memory phenotype and superior antitumor efficacy.
Christopher A. Klebanoff, Joseph G. Crompton, Anthony J. Leonardi, Tori N. Yamamoto, Smita S. Chandran, Robert L. Eil, Madhusudhanan Sukumar, Suman K. Vodnala, Jinhui Hu, Yun Ji, David Clever, Mary A. Black, Devikala Gurusamy, Michael J. Kruhlak, Ping Jin, David F. Stroncek, Luca Gattinoni, Steven A. Feldman, Nicholas P. Restifo
NK cell activation has been shown to be metabolically regulated in vitro; however, the role of metabolism during in vivo NK cell responses to infection is unknown. We examined the role of glycolysis in NK cell function during murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection and the ability of IL-15 to prime NK cells during CMV infection. The glucose metabolism inhibitor 2-deoxy-ᴅ-glucose (2DG) impaired both mouse and human NK cell cytotoxicity following priming in vitro. Similarly, MCMV-infected mice treated with 2DG had impaired clearance of NK-specific targets in vivo, which was associated with higher viral burden and susceptibility to infection on the C57BL/6 background. IL-15 priming is known to alter NK cell metabolism and metabolic requirements for activation. Treatment with the IL-15 superagonist ALT-803 rescued mice from otherwise lethal infection in an NK-dependent manner. Consistent with this, treatment of a patient with ALT-803 for recurrent CMV reactivation after hematopoietic cell transplant was associated with clearance of viremia. These studies demonstrate that NK cell–mediated control of viral infection requires glucose metabolism and that IL-15 treatment in vivo can reduce this requirement and may be effective as an antiviral therapy.
Annelise Y. Mah, Armin Rashidi, Molly P. Keppel, Nermina Saucier, Emily K. Moore, Joshua B. Alinger, Sandeep K. Tripathy, Sandeep K. Agarwal, Emily K. Jeng, Hing C. Wong, Jeffrey S. Miller, Todd A. Fehniger, Emily M. Mace, Anthony R. French, Megan A. Cooper
The ability of Tregs to control the development of immune responses is essential for maintaining immune system homeostasis. However, Tregs also inhibit the development of efficient antitumor responses. Here, we explored the characteristics and mechanistic basis of the Treg-intrinsic CTLA4/PKCη signaling pathway that we recently found to be required for contact-dependent Treg-mediated suppression. We show that PKCη is required for the Treg-mediated suppression of tumor immunity in vivo. The presence of PKCη-deficient (Prkch–/–) Tregs in the tumor microenvironment was associated with a significantly increased expression of the costimulatory molecule CD86 on intratumoral CD103+ DCs, enhanced priming of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells, and greater levels of effector cytokines produced by these cells. Similar to mouse Tregs, the GIT/PAK/PIX complex also operated downstream of CTLA4 and PKCη in human Tregs, and GIT2 knockdown in Tregs promoted antitumor immunity. Collectively, our data suggest that targeting the CTLA4/PKCη/GIT/PAK/PIX signaling pathway in Tregs could represent a novel immunotherapeutic strategy to alleviate the negative impact of Tregs on antitumor immune responses.
Christophe Pedros, Ann J. Canonigo-Balancio, Kok-Fai Kong, Amnon Altman
Despite initial remission after successful treatments, B lymphoma patients often encounter relapses and resistance causing high mortality. Thus, there is a need to develop therapies that prevent relapse by providing long-term protection and, ultimately, lead to functional cure. In this study, our goal was to develop a simple, clinically relevant, and easily translatable therapeutic vaccine that provides durable immune protection against aggressive B cell lymphoma and identify critical immune biomarkers that are predictive of long-term survival. In a delayed-treatment, aggressive, murine model of A20 B lymphoma that mimics human diffuse large B cell lymphoma, we show that therapeutic A20 lysate vaccine adjuvanted with an NKT cell agonist, α-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer), provides long-term immune protection against lethal tumor challenges and the antitumor immunity is primarily CD8 T cell dependent. Using experimental and computational methods, we demonstrate that the initial strength of germinal center reaction and the magnitude of class-switching into a Th1 type humoral response are the best predictors for the long-term immunity of B lymphoma lysate vaccine. Our results not only provide fundamentally insights for successful immunotherapy and long-term protection against B lymphomas, but also present a simple, therapeutic vaccine that can be translated easily due to the facile and inexpensive method of preparation.
Pallab Pradhan, Jardin Leleux, Jiaying Liu, Krishnendu Roy
IL-7 regulates homeostatic mechanisms that maintain the overall size of the T cell pool throughout life. We show that, under steady-state conditions, IL-7 signaling is principally mediated by activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription 5 (STAT5). In contrast, under lymphopenic conditions, there is a modulation of STAT1 expression resulting in an IL-7–dependent STAT1 and STAT5 activation. Consequently, the IL-7–induced transcriptome is altered with enrichment of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs). Moreover, STAT1 overexpression was associated with reduced survival in CD4+ T cells undergoing lymphopenia-induced proliferation (LIP). We propose a model in which T cells undergoing LIP upregulate STAT1 protein, “switching on” an alternate IL-7–dependent program. This mechanism could be a physiological process to regulate the expansion and size of the CD4+ T cell pool. During HIV infection, the virus could exploit this pathway, leading to the homeostatic dysregulation of the T cell pools observed in these patients.
Cecile Le Saout, Megan A. Luckey, Alejandro V. Villarino, Mindy Smith, Rebecca B. Hasley, Timothy G. Myers, Hiromi Imamichi, Jung-Hyun Park, John J. O’Shea, H. Clifford Lane, Marta Catalfamo
The efficacy of B cell depletion therapies in diseases such as nephrotic syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis suggests a broader role in B cells in human disease than previously recognized. In some of these diseases, such as the minimal change disease subtype of nephrotic syndrome, pathogenic antibodies and immune complexes are not involved. We hypothesized that B cells, activated in the kidney, might produce cytokines capable of directly inducing cell injury and proteinuria. To directly test our hypothesis, we targeted a model antigen to the kidney glomerulus and showed that transfer of antigen-specific B cells could induce glomerular injury and proteinuria. This effect was mediated by IL-4, as transfer of IL-4–deficient B cells did not induce proteinuria. Overexpression of IL-4 in mice was sufficient to induce kidney injury and proteinuria and could be attenuated by JAK kinase inhibitors. Since IL-4 is a specific activator of STAT6, we analyzed kidney biopsies and demonstrated STAT6 activation in up to 1 of 3 of minimal change disease patients, suggesting IL-4 or IL-13 exposure in these patients. These data suggest that the role of B cells in nephrotic syndrome could be mediated by cytokines.
Alfred H.J. Kim, Jun-Jae Chung, Shreeram Akilesh, Ania Koziell, Sanjay Jain, Jeffrey B. Hodgin, Mark J. Miller, Thaddeus S. Stappenbeck, Jeffrey H. Miner, Andrey S. Shaw
Tregs hold great promise as a cellular therapy for multiple immunologically mediated diseases, given their ability to control immune responses. The success of such strategies depends on the expansion of healthy, suppressive Tregs ex vivo and in vivo following the transfer. In clinical studies, levels of transferred Tregs decline sharply in the blood within a few days of the transfer. Tregs have a high rate of apoptosis. Here, we describe a new mechanism of Treg self-inflicted damage. We show that granzymes A and -B (GrA and GrB), which are highly upregulated in human Tregs upon stimulation, leak out of cytotoxic granules to induce cleavage of cytoplasmic and nuclear substrates, precipitating apoptosis in target cells. GrA and GrB substrates were protected from cleavage by inhibiting granzyme activity in vitro. Additionally, we show — by using cytometry by time of flight (CYTOF) — an increase in GrB-expressing Tregs in the peripheral blood and renal allografts of transplant recipients undergoing rejection. These GrB-expressing Tregs showed an activated phenotype but were significantly more apoptotic than non–GrB expressing Tregs. This potentially novel finding improves our understanding of Treg survival and suggests that manipulating Gr expression or activity might be useful for designing more effective Treg therapies.
Esilida Sula Karreci, Siawosh K. Eskandari, Farokh Dotiwala, Sujit K. Routray, Ahmed T. Kurdi, Jean Pierre Assaker, Pavlo Luckyanchykov, Albana B. Mihali, Omar Maarouf, Thiago J. Borges, Abdullah Alkhudhayri, Kruti R. Patel, Amr Radwan, Irene Ghobrial, Martina McGrath, Anil Chandraker, Leonardo V. Riella, Wassim Elyaman, Reza Abdi, Judy Lieberman, Jamil Azzi
The microbiome affects development and activity of the immune system, and may modulate immune therapies, but there is little direct information about this control in vivo. We studied how the microbiome affects regulation of human immune cells in humanized mice. When humanized mice were treated with a cocktail of 4 antibiotics, there was an increase in the frequency of effector T cells in the gut wall, circulating levels of IFN-γ, and appearance of anti-nuclear antibodies. Teplizumab, a non–FcR-binding anti-CD3ε antibody, no longer delayed xenograft rejection. An increase in CD8+ central memory cells and IL-10, markers of efficacy of teplizumab, were not induced. IL-10 levels were only decreased when the mice were treated with all 4 but not individual antibiotics. Antibiotic treatment affected CD11b+CD11c+ cells, which produced less IL-10 and IL-27, and showed increased expression of CD86 and activation of T cells when cocultured with T cells and teplizumab. Soluble products in the pellets appeared to be responsible for the reduced IL-27 expression in DCs. Similar changes in IL-10 induction were seen when human peripheral blood mononuclear cells were cultured with human stool samples. We conclude that changes in the microbiome may impact the efficacy of immunosuppressive medications by altering immune regulatory pathways.
Elke Gülden, Nalini K. Vudattu, Songyan Deng, Paula Preston-Hurlburt, Mark Mamula, James C. Reed, Sindhu Mohandas, Betsy C. Herold, Richard Torres, Silvio M. Vieira, Bentley Lim, Jose D. Herazo-Maya, Martin Kriegel, Andrew L. Goodman, Chris Cotsapas, Kevan C. Herold
The complex signaling networks of the tumor microenvironment that facilitate tumor growth and progression toward metastatic disease are becoming a focus of potential therapeutic options. The chemokine IL-8 is overexpressed in multiple cancer types, including triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), where it promotes the acquisition of mesenchymal features, stemness, resistance to therapies, and the recruitment of immune-suppressive cells to the tumor site. The present study explores the utility of a clinical-stage monoclonal antibody that neutralizes IL-8 (HuMax-IL8) as a potential therapeutic option for TNBC. HuMax-IL8 was shown to revert mesenchymalization in claudin-low TNBC models both in vitro and in vivo as well as to significantly decrease the recruitment of polymorphonuclear myeloid-derived suppressor cells (PMN-MDSCs) at the tumor site, an effect substantiated when used in combination with docetaxel. In addition, HuMax-IL8 enhanced the susceptibility of claudin-low breast cancer cells to immune-mediated lysis with NK and antigen-specific T cells in vitro. These results demonstrate the multifaceted way in which neutralizing this single chemokine reverts mesenchymalization, decreases recruitment of MDSCs at the tumor site, assists in immune-mediated killing, and forms the rationale for using HuMax-IL8 in combination with chemotherapy or immune-based therapies for the treatment of TNBC.
Charli Dominguez, Kristen K. McCampbell, Justin M. David, Claudia Palena
Phospholipase A2 (PLA2) enzymes regulate the formation of eicosanoids and lysophospholipids that contribute to allergic airway inflammation. Secreted PLA2 group X (sPLA2-X) was recently found to be increased in the airways of asthmatics and is highly expressed in airway epithelial cells and macrophages. In the current study, we show that allergen exposure increases sPLA2-X in humans and in mice, and that global deletion of Pla2g10 results in a marked reduction in airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), eosinophil and T cell trafficking to the airways, airway occlusion, generation of type-2 cytokines by antigen-stimulated leukocytes, and antigen-specific immunoglobulins. Further, we found that Pla2g10–/– mice had reduced IL-33 levels in BALF, fewer type-2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) in the lung, less IL-33–induced IL-13 expression in mast cells, and a marked reduction in both the number of newly recruited macrophages and the M2 polarization of these macrophages in the lung. These results indicate that sPLA2-X serves as a central regulator of both innate and adaptive immune response to proteolytic allergen.
James D. Nolin, Ying Lai, Herbert Luke Ogden, Anne M. Manicone, Ryan C. Murphy, Dowon An, Charles W. Frevert, Farideh Ghomashchi, Gajendra S. Naika, Michael H. Gelb, Gail M. Gauvreau, Adrian M. Piliponsky, William A. Altemeier, Teal S. Hallstrand
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