Interleukin-15/interleukin-15R alpha complexes promote destruction of established tumors by reviving tumor-resident CD8+ T cells.
ABSTRACT Tumors often escape immune-mediated destruction by suppressing lymphocyte infiltration or effector function. New approaches are needed that overcome this suppression and thereby augment the tumoricidal capacity of tumor-reactive lymphocytes. The cytokine interleukin-15 (IL-15) promotes proliferation and effector capacity of CD8(+) T cells, natural killer (NK) cells, and NKT cells; however, it has a short half-life and high doses are needed to achieve functional responses in vivo. The biological activity of IL-15 can be dramatically increased by complexing this cytokine to its soluble receptor, IL-15R alpha. Here, we report that in vivo delivery of IL-15/IL-15R alpha complexes triggers rapid and significant regression of established solid tumors in two murine models. Despite a marked expansion of IL-2/IL-15R beta(+) cells in lymphoid organs and peripheral blood following treatment with IL-15/IL-15R alpha complexes, the destruction of solid tumors was orchestrated by tumor-resident rather than newly infiltrating CD8(+) T cells. Our data provide novel insights into the use of IL-15/IL-15R alpha complexes to relieve tumor-resident T cells from functional suppression by the tumor microenvironment and have significant implications for cancer immunotherapy and treatment of chronic infections.
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ABSTRACT: Cancer patients frequently exhibit a deficiency in Type-1 (but not Type-2 or regulatory) CD4(+) T cell responses against tumor-associated antigens (TAA), which may limit protection against disease progression or responsiveness to immunotherapy in these individuals. Since such deficiency was acutely evident in patients with active disease (AD), where chronic stimulation of anti-tumor CD4(+) T cells would be expected and activation-induced cell death may be prevalent, we employed MHC Class II-peptide tetramers to characterize the frequency and apoptotic status of TAA- vs. influenza (FluM1) virus-specific CD4(+) T cells in the peripheral blood of HLA-DR*0401(+) patients with melanoma or renal cell carcinoma. We observed that Flu-specific CD4(+) T cells ranged from 0.17 to 3.89%, while up to approximately 1% of CD4(+) T cells reacted against individual TAA epitopes derived from the EphA2 or MAGE-6 proteins. The frequencies of EphA2 and MAGE-6-specific CD4(+) T cells in patients were significantly correlated with AD and gender of the patient (i.e., females > males), while frequencies of Flu-specific CD4(+) T cells were distributed within a normal range in all patients. Notably, patient CD4(+) T cells reactive with MHC class II-TAA (but not MHC class II-Flu) tetramers were significantly enriched for a pro-apoptotic (Annexin-V(+)) phenotype, particularly amongst the Th1 (T-bet(+)) subset. These results suggest that the preferential sensitivity of TAA (but not viral)-specific CD4(+) Th1 cells to apoptosis in melanoma patients with AD will need to be overcome for optimal clinical benefit of immunotherapeutic approaches to be realized.Frontiers in oncology. 01/2014; 4:266.
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ABSTRACT: Myxoma virus, a rabbit poxvirus, can efficiently infect various types of mouse and human cancer cells. It is a strict rabbit-specific pathogen, and is thought to be safe as a therapeutic agent in all non-rabbit hosts tested including mice and humans. Interleukin-15 (IL15) is an immuno-modulatory cytokine with significant potential for stimulating anti-tumor T lymphocytes and NK cells. Co-expression of IL15 with the α subunit of IL15 receptor (IL15Rα) greatly enhances IL15 stability and bioavailability. Therefore, we engineered a new recombinant myxoma virus (vMyx-IL15Rα-tdTr), which expresses an IL15Rα-IL15 fusion protein plus tdTomato red fluorescent reporter protein. Permissive rabbit kidney epithelial (RK-13) cells infected with vMyx-IL15Rα-tdTr expressed and secreted the IL15Rα-IL15 fusion protein. Functional activity was confirmed by demonstrating that the secreted fusion protein stimulated proliferation of cytokine-dependent CTLL-2 cells. Multi-step growth curves showed that murine melanoma (B16-F10 and B16.SIY) cell lines were permissive to vMyx-IL15Rα-tdTr infection. In vivo experiments in RAG1-/- mice showed that subcutaneous B16-F10 tumors treated with vMyx-IL15Rα-tdTr exhibited attenuated tumor growth and a significant survival benefit for the treated group compared to the PBS control and the control viruses (vMyx-IL15-tdTr and vMyx-tdTr). Immunohistological analysis of the subcutaneous tumors showed dramatically increased infiltration of NK cells in vMyx-IL15Rα-tdTr treated tumors compared to the controls. In vivo experiments with immunocompetent C57BL/6 mice revealed a strong infiltrate of both NK cells and CD8+ T cells in response to vMyx-IL15Rα-tdTr, and prolonged survival. We conclude that delivery of IL15Rα-IL15 in a myxoma virus vector stimulates both innate and adaptive components of the immune system.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(10):e109801. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: It is now appreciated that there are distinct subsets of dendritic cells (DC) with specialized functions. Plasmacytoid DC (pDC) and CD8α DC can contribute to the priming, activation and function of antitumor CD8 T cells; however, their specific roles and necessity in stimulating antitumor immunity are not clearly understood. We examined the importance of pDC and CD8α DC during immunotherapy of an orthotopic model of metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Immunotherapy that utilizes a recombinant adenovirus encoding tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (Ad5-TRAIL) in combination with an immunostimulatory CpG-containing oligodeoxynucleotide (CpG) resulted in the clearance of primary and metastatic tumors in wild-type (WT) replete BALB/c mice and prolonged survival. In comparison, mice deficient in either pDC (accomplished using a depleting mAb specific for PDCA1) or CD8α DC (through utilization of CD8α DC-deficient Batf3 (-/-) BALB/c mice) had uncontrolled tumor growth and high mortality after Ad5-TRAIL/CpG administration. The ineffectiveness of Ad5-TRAIL/CpG therapy in the anti-PDCA1-treated and Batf3 (-/-) BALB/c mice was marked by an altered activation phenotype of the DC, as well as significantly reduced expression of type I IFN-stimulated genes and IL-15/IL-15R complex production. In addition, pDC-depleted and Batf3 (-/-) BALB/c mice had significantly decreased effector CD8 T cell infiltration in the primary tumor site compared with WT mice after therapy. These data collectively suggest that pDC and CD8α DC carry out independent, but complementary, roles that are necessary to initiate an efficacious antitumor immune response after Ad5-TRAIL/CpG therapy.Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 04/2014; · 3.64 Impact Factor