Peptide-Loaded Langerhans Cells, Despite Increased IL15 Secretion and T-Cell Activation In Vitro, Elicit Antitumor T-Cell Responses Comparable to Peptide-Loaded Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells In Vivo

Laboratory of Cellular Immunobiology, Immunology Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, New York, New York, USA.
Clinical Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 8.72). 02/2011; 17(7):1984-97. DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-3421
Source: PubMed


We compared the efficacy of human Langerhans cells (LC) as tumor immunogens in vivo with monocyte-derived dendritic cells (moDC) and investigated how interleukin 15 (IL15) supports optimal DC-stimulated antitumor immunity.
American Joint Committee on Cancer stage III/IV melanoma patients participated in this first clinical trial comparing melanoma peptide-pulsed LC with moDC vaccines (NCT00700167, Correlative studies evaluated mechanisms mediating IL15 support of DC-stimulated antitumor immunity.
Both DC vaccines were safe and immunogenic for melanoma antigens. LC-based vaccines stimulated significantly greater tyrosinase-HLA-A*0201 tetramer reactivity than the moDC-based vaccines. The two DC subtypes were otherwise statistically comparable, in contrast to extensive prior data in vitro showing LC superiority. LCs synthesize much more IL15 than moDCs and stimulate significantly more antigen-specific lymphocytes with a cytolytic IFN-γ profile even without exogenous IL15. When supplemented by low-dose IL15, instead of IL2, moDCs stimulate 5 to 6 logs more tumor antigen-specific effector memory T cells (T(EMRA)) over 3 to 4 weeks in vitro. IL2 and IL15 can be synergistic in moDC stimulation of cytolytic T cells. IL15 promotes T-cell expression of the antiapoptotic bcl-2 and inhibits candidate regulatory T-cell (Treg) expansion after DC stimulation, countering two effects of IL2 that do not foster tumor immunity.
MoDC-based vaccines will require exogenous IL15 to achieve clinical efficacy. Alternatively, LCs can couple the endogenous production of IL15 with potent T-cell stimulatory activity. Optimization of full-length tumor antigen expression for processing into multiple immunogenic peptides for presentation by both class I and II MHC therefore merits emphasis to support more effective antitumor immunity stimulated by LCs.

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    • "Several reports have demonstrated that DC including LC are essential in the generation of an antitumor immunity in the skin (e.g. [9], [10]). Given the rich network of these cells in the skin they are often thought to be the first immune cells to encounter tumor antigens from cutaneous cancers (for review see [11]). "
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    ABSTRACT: Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) belongs to the group of non-melanoma skin tumors and is the most common tumor in the western world. BCC arises due to mutations in the tumor suppressor gene Patched1 (Ptch). Analysis of the conditional Ptch knockout mouse model for BCC reveals that macrophages and dendritic cells (DC) of the skin play an important role in BCC growth restraining processes. This is based on the observation that a clodronate-liposome mediated depletion of these cells in the tumor-bearing skin results in significant BCC enlargement. The depletion of these cells does not modulate Ki67 or K10 expression, but is accompanied by a decrease in collagen-producing cells in the tumor stroma. Together, the data suggest that cutaneous macrophages and DC in the tumor microenvironment exert an antitumor effect on BCC.
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    • "Electroporation of DCs with mRNA encoding specific tumor-associated antigens is an effective non-viral method to stimulate T cell responses in vitro and in vivo[4-11]. This method of antigen loading, which facilitates processing and presentation of multiple class I and II MHC-restricted epitopes from the translated protein [12], is more efficient than peptide pulsing and less problematic than retroviral transgenes, which carry the risk of genome integration [13]. mRNA electroporation also allows individuals of any HLA type to process and present peptides tailored to their own MHC molecules. "
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    ABSTRACT: mRNA electroporation of dendritic cells (DCs) facilitates processing and presentation of multiple peptides derived from whole antigen, tailored to different HLA molecules. Clinical responses to electroporated moDC vaccines, however, have been suboptimal. Human Langerhans-type DCs (LCs) are the most potent conventional DC subtype for inducing CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) in vitro. We recently demonstrated that Wilms' tumor 1 (WT1) mRNA-electroporated LCs are superior to moDCs as stimulators of tumor antigen-specific CD8+ CTLs, even though they are comparable stimulators of allogeneic T cell proliferative responses. A detailed comparative evaluation of the effects of mRNA electroporation on LCs versus moDCs, however, is needed. Immature and partially-matured human moDCs and LCs electroporated with mRNA were compared for transfection efficiency, phenotypic changes, viability, retention of transgene expression after cryopreservation, and immunogenicity. Student t test was used for each pairwise comparison. One-way analysis of variance was used for multiple group comparisons. Transfection efficiency after electroporation with enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) mRNA was higher for immature than for partially-matured moDCs. In contrast, transfection efficiency was higher for partially-matured than for immature LCs, with the additional benefit that electroporation itself increased maturation and activation of CD83+HLA-DRbright LCs but not moDCs. Electroporation did not impair final maturation and activation of either DC subtype, after which both mRNA-electroporated LCs and moDCs were functionally similar in stimulating allogeneic T cell proliferation, a standard assay of DC immunogenicity. These findings support mRNA electroporation of DCs, and in particular LCs, as an effective non-viral method to stimulate specific, potent CD8+ CTL responses. The differences between LCs and moDCs regarding this form of antigen-loading have important implications for DC-based immunotherapies.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Journal of Translational Medicine
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    • "LCs are thought to be key players in the initiation of cellular immunity through the stimulation of a predominantly CD8+-or NK-cell-mediated response (Figure 2(a)). LCs express a distinct set of toll-like receptors (TLRs; TLR 1, 2, 3, 6, and 10) which, when activated, result in the secretion of IL-15, a cytokine known to preferentially drive the proliferation of CD8+ T cells [27] [28] [29]. Additionally, LCs are capable of cross-presenting foreign antigens to CD8+ T cells with a greater degree of efficiency when compared to the other DC subsets, resulting in a more robust proliferation of naive CD8+ T cells [30]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DC) represent a diverse group of professional antigen-presenting cells that serve to link the innate and adaptive immune systems. Their capacity to initiate a robust and antigen-specific immune response has made them the ideal candidates for cancer immunotherapies. To date, the clinical impact of DC immunotherapy has been limited, which may, in part, be explained by the complex nature of DC biology. Multiple distinct subsets of DCs have been identified in the skin, where they can be broadly subcategorized into epidermal Langerhans cells (LC), myeloid-derived dermal dendritic cells (mDC) and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC). Each subset is functionally unique and may activate alternate branches of the immune system. This may be relevant for the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma, where we have shown that the tumor microenvironment may preferentially suppress the activity of mDCs, while LCs remain potent stimulators of immunity. Here, we provide an in depth analysis of DC biology, with a particular focus on skin DCs and their role in cutaneous carcinoma. We further explore the current approaches to DC immunotherapy and provide evidence for the targeting of LCs as a promising new strategy in the treatment of skin cancer.
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