Recent clinical trials have demonstrated a clear survival advantage in advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients treated with immune checkpoint blockade. These emerging results reveal that HNSCC is one of the most promising frontiers for immunotherapy research. However, further progress in head and neck immuno-oncology will require a detailed understanding of the immune infiltrative landscape found in these tumors. We leveraged transcriptome data from 280 tumors profiled by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to comprehensively characterize the immune landscape of HNSCC in order to develop a rationale for immunotherapeutic strategies in HNSCC and guide clinical investigation. We find that both HPV+ and HPV– HNSCC tumors are among the most highly immune-infiltrated cancer types. Strikingly, HNSCC had the highest median Treg/CD8+ T cell ratio and the highest levels of CD56dim NK cell infiltration, in our pan-cancer analysis of the most immune-infiltrated tumors. CD8+ T cell infiltration and CD56dim NK cell infiltration each correlated with superior survival in HNSCC. Tumors harboring genetic smoking signatures had lower immune infiltration and were associated with poorer survival, suggesting these patients may benefit from immune agonist therapy. These findings illuminate the immune landscape of HPV+ and HPV– HNSCC. Additionally, this landscape provides a potentially novel rationale for investigation of agents targeting modulators of Tregs (e.g., CTLA-4, GITR, ICOS, IDO, and VEGFA) and NK cells (e.g., KIR, TIGIT, and 4-1BB) as adjuncts to anti–PD-1 in the treatment of advanced HNSCC.
Rajarsi Mandal, Yasin Şenbabaoğlu, Alexis Desrichard, Jonathan J. Havel, Martin G. Dalin, Nadeem Riaz, Ken-Wing Lee, Ian Ganly, A. Ari Hakimi, Timothy A. Chan, Luc G.T. Morris
Viral hepatitis remains a global health challenge despite recent progress in the development of more effective therapies. Although virus-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses are essential for viral clearance, it remains largely unknown what regulates T cell–mediated viral clearance. Thus, a better understanding of the regulation of anti-viral T cell immunity would be critical for the design of more effective therapies for viral hepatitis. Using a model of adenovirus-induced hepatitis, here we showed that adenoviral infection induced recruitment of Ly6Chi monocytes to the liver in a CCR2-dependent manner. These recruited Ly6Chi monocytes suppressed CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses to adenoviral infection, leading to a delay in viral clearance. In vivo depletion of Ly6Chi monocytes markedly enhanced anti-viral T cell responses and promoted viral clearance. Mechanistically, we showed that induction of iNOS and the production of NO by Ly6Chi monocytes are critical for the suppression of T cell responses. In addition, a contact-dependent mechanism mediated by PD-1 and PD-L1 interaction is also required for T cell suppression by Ly6Chi monocytes. These findings suggest a critical role for Ly6Chi monocytes in the regulation of T cell immunity in viral hepatitis and may provide new insights into development of more effective therapies for treating viral hepatitis based on targeting the immunosuppressing monocytes.
Jiangao Zhu, Huiyao Chen, Xiaopei Huang, Songfu Jiang, Yiping Yang
Invasive pulmonary aspergillosis is a life-threatening mycosis that only affects patients with immunosuppression, chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, transplantation, or congenital immunodeficiency. We studied the clinical, genetic, histological, and immunological features of 2 unrelated patients without known immunodeficiency who developed extrapulmonary invasive aspergillosis at the ages of 8 and 18. One patient died at age 12 with progressive intra-abdominal aspergillosis. The other patient had presented with intra-abdominal candidiasis at age 9, and developed central nervous system aspergillosis at age 18 and intra-abdominal aspergillosis at age 25. Neither patient developed
Nikolaus Rieber, Roel P. Gazendam, Alexandra F. Freeman, Amy P. Hsu, Amanda L. Collar, Janyce A. Sugui, Rebecca A. Drummond, Chokechai Rongkavilit, Kevin Hoffman, Carolyn Henderson, Lily Clark, Markus Mezger, Muthulekha Swamydas, Maik Engeholm, Rebecca Schüle, Bettina Neumayer, Frank Ebel, Constantinos M. Mikelis, Stefania Pittaluga, Vinod K. Prasad, Anurag Singh, Joshua D. Milner, Kelli W. Williams, Jean K. Lim, Kyung J. Kwon-Chung, Steven M. Holland, Dominik Hartl, Taco W. Kuijpers, Michail S. Lionakis
Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a rare lung disease of women that leads to progressive cyst formation and accelerated loss of pulmonary function. Neoplastic smooth muscle cells from an unknown source metastasize to the lung and drive destructive remodeling. Given the role of NK cells in immune surveillance, we postulated that NK cell activating receptors and their cognate ligands are involved in LAM pathogenesis. We found that ligands for the NKG2D activating receptor UL-16 binding protein 2 (ULBP2) and ULBP3 are localized in cystic LAM lesions and pulmonary nodules. We found elevated soluble serum ULBP2 (mean = 575 pg/ml ± 142) in 50 of 100 subjects and ULBP3 in 30 of 100 (mean = 8,300 pg/ml ± 1,515) subjects. LAM patients had fewer circulating NKG2D+ NK cells and decreased NKG2D surface expression. Lung function decline was associated with soluble NKG2D ligand (sNKG2DL) detection. The greatest rate of decline forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1, –124 ± 30 ml/year) in the 48 months after enrollment (NHLBI LAM Registry) occurred in patients expressing both ULBP2 and ULBP3, whereas patients with undetectable sNKG2DL levels had the lowest rate of FEV1 decline (–32.7 ± 10 ml/year). These data suggest a role for NK cells, sNKG2DL, and the innate immune system in LAM pathogenesis.
Andrew R. Osterburg, Rebecca L. Nelson, Benyamin Z. Yaniv, Rachel Foot, Walter R.F. Donica, Madison A. Nashu, Huan Liu, Kathryn A. Wikenheiser-Brokamp, Joel Moss, Nishant Gupta, Francis X. McCormack, Michael T. Borchers
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) play a crucial role in the maintenance of peripheral tolerance. Quantitative and/or qualitative defects in Tregs result in diseases such as autoimmunity, allergy, malignancy, and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a serious complication of allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT). We recently reported increased expression of autophagy-related genes (
Laëtitia Le Texier, Katie E. Lineburg, Benjamin Cao, Cameron McDonald-Hyman, Lucie Leveque-El Mouttie, Jemma Nicholls, Michelle Melino, Blessy C. Nalkurthi, Kylie A. Alexander, Bianca Teal, Stephen J. Blake, Fernando Souza-Fonseca-Guimaraes, Christian R. Engwerda, Rachel D. Kuns, Steven W. Lane, Michele Teng, Charis Teh, Daniel Gray, Andrew D. Clouston, Susan K. Nilsson, Bruce R. Blazar, Geoffrey R. Hill, Kelli P.A. MacDonald
Transcriptome profiles derived from the site of human disease have led to the identification of genes that contribute to pathogenesis, yet the complex mixture of cell types in these lesions has been an obstacle for defining specific mechanisms. Leprosy provides an outstanding model to study host defense and pathogenesis in a human infectious disease, given its clinical spectrum, which interrelates with the host immunologic and pathologic responses. Here, we investigated gene expression profiles derived from skin lesions for each clinical subtype of leprosy, analyzing gene coexpression modules by cell-type deconvolution. In lesions from tuberculoid leprosy patients, those with the self-limited form of the disease, dendritic cells were linked with
Megan S. Inkeles, Rosane M.B. Teles, Delila Pouldar, Priscila R. Andrade, Cressida A. Madigan, David Lopez, Mike Ambrose, Mahdad Noursadeghi, Euzenir N. Sarno, Thomas H. Rea, Maria T. Ochoa, M. Luisa Iruela-Arispe, William R. Swindell, Tom H.M. Ottenhoff, Annemieke Geluk, Barry R. Bloom, Matteo Pellegrini, Robert L. Modlin
Fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FNAIT) is a pregnancy-related condition caused by maternal antibodies binding an alloantigen on fetal platelets. In most cases the alloantigen is formed by a single amino acid, integrin β3 Leu33, referred to as human platelet antigen–1a (HPA-1a). Production of anti–HPA-1a antibodies likely depends on CD4+ T cells that recognize the same alloantigen in complex with the HLA-DRA/DRB3*01:01 molecule. While this complex is well characterized, T cell recognition of it is not. Here, to examine the nature of antigen recognition by HPA-1a–specific T cells, we assayed native and synthetic variants of the integrin β3 peptide antigen for binding to DRA/DRB3*01:01-positive antigen-presenting cells and for T cell activation. We found that HPA-1a–specific T cells recognize non-allogeneic integrin β3 residues anchored to DRA/DRB3*01:01 by the allogeneic Leu33, which itself is not directly recognized by these T cells. Furthermore, these T cell responses are diverse, with different T cells depending on different residues for recognition. This represents a unique form of indirect allorecognition in which a non-allogeneic peptide sequence becomes immunogenic by stable anchoring to MHC by an allogeneic residue.
Maria Therese Ahlen, Anne Husebekk, Ida Løken Killie, Bjørn Skogen, Tor Brynjar Stuge
Genome-wide association studies of asthma have identified genetic variants in the
Erin D. Gordon, Joe Palandra, Agata Wesolowska-Andersen, Lando Ringel, Cydney L. Rios, Marrah E. Lachowicz-Scroggins, Louis Z. Sharp, Jamie L. Everman, Hannah J. MacLeod, Jae W. Lee, Robert J. Mason, Michael A. Matthay, Richard T. Sheldon, Michael C. Peters, Karl H. Nocka, John V. Fahy, Max A. Seibold
In carcinogen-driven cancers, a high mutational burden results in neoepitopes that can be recognized immunologically. Such carcinogen-induced tumors may evade this immune response through “immunoediting,” whereby tumors adapt to immune pressure and escape T cell–mediated killing. Many tumors lack a high neoepitope burden, and it remains unclear whether immunoediting occurs in such cases. Here, we evaluated T cell immunity in an autochthonous mouse model of pancreatic cancer and found a low mutational burden, absence of predicted neoepitopes derived from tumor mutations, and resistance to checkpoint immunotherapy. Spontaneous tumor progression was identical in the presence or absence of T cells. Moreover, tumors arising in T cell–depleted mice grew unchecked in immune-competent hosts. However, introduction of the neoantigen ovalbumin (OVA) led to tumor rejection and T cell memory, but this did not occur in OVA immune-tolerant mice. Thus, immunoediting does not occur in this mouse model — a likely consequence, not a cause, of absent neoepitopes. Because many human tumors also have a low missense mutational load and minimal neoepitope burden, our findings have clinical implications for the design of immunotherapy for patients with such tumors.
Rebecca A. Evans, Mark S. Diamond, Andrew J. Rech, Timothy Chao, Max W. Richardson, Jeffrey H. Lin, David L. Bajor, Katelyn T. Byrne, Ben Z. Stanger, James L. Riley, Nune Markosyan, Rafael Winograd, Robert H. Vonderheide
Patrick H. Lizotte, Elena V. Ivanova, Mark M. Awad, Robert E. Jones, Lauren Keogh, Hongye Liu, Ruben Dries, Christina Almonte, Grit S. Herter-Sprie, Abigail Santos, Nora B. Feeney, Cloud P. Paweletz, Meghana M. Kulkarni, Adam J. Bass, Anil K. Rustgi, Guo-Cheng Yuan, Donald W. Kufe, Pasi A. Jänne, Peter S. Hammerman, Lynette M. Sholl, F. Stephen Hodi, William G. Richards, Raphael Bueno, Jessie M. English, Mark A. Bittinger, Kwok-Kin Wong
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