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BACKGROUND - Tumor cell senescence is a common outcome of anticancer therapy. Here we investigated how therapy-induced senescence (TIS) affects tumor-infiltrating leukocytes (TILs) and the efficacy of immunotherapy in melanoma.
METHODS - Tumor senescence was induced by AURKA or CDK4/6 inhibitors (AURKAi, CDK4/6i). Transcriptomes of six mouse tumors with differential response to AURKAi were analyzed by RNA sequencing, and TILs were characterized by flow cytometry. Chemokine RNA and protein expression were determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Therapeutic response was queried in immunodeficient mice, in mice with CCL5-deficient tumors, and in mice cotreated with CD137 agonist to activate TILs. CCL5 expression in reference to TIS and markers of TILs was studied in human melanoma tumors using patient-derived xenografts (n = 3 patients, n = 3 mice each), in AURKAi clinical trial samples (n = 3 patients, before/after therapy), and in The Cancer Genome Atlas (n = 278). All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS - AURKAi response was associated with induction of the immune transcriptome (P = 3.5 x 10-29) while resistance inversely correlated with TIL numbers (Spearman r = -0.87, P < .001). AURKAi and CDK4/6i promoted the recruitment of TILs by inducing CCL5 secretion in melanoma cells (P ≤ .005) in an NF-κB-dependent manner. Therapeutic response to AURKAi was impaired in immunodeficient compared with immunocompetent mice (0% vs 67% tumors regressed, P = .01) and in mice bearing CCL5-deficient vs control tumors (P = .61 vs P = .02); however, AURKAi response was greatly enhanced in mice also receiving T-cell-activating immunotherapy (P < .001). In human tumors, CCL5 expression was also induced by AURKAi (P ≤ .02) and CDK4/6i (P = .01) and was associated with increased immune marker expression (P = 1.40 x 10-93).
CONCLUSIONS - Senescent melanoma cells secret CCL5, which promotes recruitment of TILs. Combining TIS with immunotherapy that enhances tumor cell killing by TILs is a promising novel approach to improve melanoma outcomes.
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Monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) is a TLR4 agonist that is used as an immunomodulator in human vaccines; additionally, it has been shown to be protective in models of sepsis. As endothelial cells regulate inflammation, we hypothesized that MPLA would decrease activation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) to LPS. We studied HUVECs challenged with LPS (100 ng/ml), MPLA (0.001-100 µg/ml) or a combination. Secretion of IL-6, RANTES (CCL5) and IP-10 (CXCL10) were assessed by ELISA. Activation of MAPK phosphorylation and cytokine transcription were assessed by Western blot analysis and PCR, respectively. MPLA alone was a weak stimulator of myeloid differentiation primary response protein 88-dependent IL-6 and did not induce TIR-domain-containing adapter-inducing IFN-β (TRIF)-dependent chemokine responses. MPLA significantly reduced LPS-mediated IL-6 production. This inhibitory effect was also conferred for the TRIF-dependent chemokines RANTES and IP-10. Inhibition of LPS-mediated activation by MPLA was associated with reduced p38 phosphorylation and mRNAs encoding inflammatory cytokines. MPLA inhibition of LPS signaling appeared to be at the level of the TLR4 receptor, acting as a receptor antagonist with weak agonistic properties. This study provides evidence of a novel mechanism for the inhibitory effect of MPLA on LPS-induced endothelial activation.
© The Author(s) 2014.
PURPOSE - To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of bortezomib in combination with doxorubicin in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, and to correlate pharmacodynamic markers of proteasome inhibition with response and survival.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - This phase II, open-label, multicenter study examined the efficacy of bortezomib (1.3 mg/m(2) IV on d1, 4, 8, 11) and doxorubicin (15 mg/m(2) IV on d1, 8) in 21-day cycles. The primary endpoint was objective response rate.
RESULTS - Best responses in 38 treated patients were 1 partial response (2.6 %), 10 (26.3 %) stable disease, and 17 (44.7 %) progressive disease; 10 patients were unevaluable. Median PFS was 2.2 months. Median OS was 6.1 months. The most common grade 3 to 4 toxicities were hypertension, glucose intolerance, ascites, ALT elevation, hyperglycemia and thrombosis/embolism. Worse PFS was seen in patients with elevated IL-6, IL-8, MIP-1α and EMSA for NF-κB at the start of treatment. Worse OS was seen in patients with elevated IL-8 and VEGF at the start of treatment. Patients had improved OS if a change in the natural log of serum MIP-1α/CCL3 was seen after treatment. RANTES/CCL5 levels decreased significantly with treatment.
CONCLUSIONS - The combination of doxorubicin and bortezomib was well-tolerated in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, but the primary endpoint was not met. Exploratory analyses of markers of proteasome inhibition suggest a possible prognostic and predictive role and should be explored further in tumor types for which bortezomib is efficacious.
Respiratory viruses cause substantial disease and are a significant healthcare burden. Virus-induced inflammation can be detrimental to the host, causing symptoms during acute infection and leading to damage that contributes to long-term residual lung disease. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is a lipid mediator that is increased in response to many viral infections, and inhibition of PGE2 production during respiratory viral infection often leads to a decreased inflammatory response. We tested the hypothesis that PGE2 promotes inflammatory responses to mouse adenovirus type 1 (MAV-1) respiratory infection. Acute MAV-1 infection increased COX-2 expression and PGE2 production in wild type mice. Deficiency of the E prostanoid 2 receptor had no apparent effect on MAV-1 pathogenesis. Virus-induced induction of PGE2, IFN-γ, CXCL1, and CCL5 was reduced in mice deficient in microsomal PGE synthase-1 (mPGES-1(-/-) mice). However, there were no differences between mPGES-1(+/+) and mPGES-1(-/-) mice in viral replication, recruitment of leukocytes to airways or lung inflammation. Infection of both mPGES‑1(+/+) and mPGES-1(-/-) mice led to protection against reinfection. Thus, while PGE2 promotes the expression of a variety of cytokines in response to acute MAV-1 infection, PGE2 synthesis does not appear to be essential for generating pulmonary immunity.
Unmethylated CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG) are synthetic toll-like receptor 9 agonists that activate innate immune cells and which have been tested as an immune therapy in a number of cancer clinical trials. Although some antitumor immune responses have been reported, so far the majority of studies have failed to show significant clinical responses to CpG. Here we showed that the route of administration is critical to the antitumor activity of CpG. Although intravenous (i.v.) injection of CpG was capable of inducing the activation and expansion of tumor antigen-specific T cells, most of these activated T cells failed to migrate to tumor sites. By contrast, intratumoral (i.t.) injection of CpG led to extensive tumor infiltration of antigen-specific T cells and subsequent tumor suppression. We further showed that very high levels of inflammatory chemokines [regulated upon activation, normal T-cell expressed, and secreted (RANTES), interferon-inducible protein-10 (IP-10), monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP5), macrophage inflammatory proteins (MIP1α, and MIP1β)] were induced in the tumor microenvironment after i.t. CpG injection, compared with administration by the i.v. route. It is interesting to note that, in vivo depletion of plasmacytoid dendritic cells greatly reduced the levels of chemokines induced; also, T-cell accumulation and antitumor effect were impaired. We also showed that i.t. but not i.v. CpG injection induced a broad antigen-specific T-cell response against tumor-derived antigens. Collectively, our data provides evidence that the route of CpG administration is a critical factor in mediating antitumor activity. By inducing localized inflammatory signals at tumor sites, i.t. CpG effectively promotes the migration, activation and function of immune cells, ultimately leading to improved tumor control.
Activation of NF-κB and 5-lipoxygenase-mediated (5-LO-mediated) biosynthesis of the lipid mediator leukotriene B4 (LTB4) are pivotal components of host defense and inflammatory responses. However, the role of LTB4 in mediating innate immune responses elicited by specific TLR ligands and cytokines is unknown. Here we have shown that responses dependent on MyD88 (an adaptor protein that mediates signaling through all of the known TLRs, except TLR3, as well as IL-1β and IL-18) are reduced in mice lacking either 5-LO or the LTB4 receptor BTL1, and that macrophages from these mice are impaired in MyD88-dependent activation of NF-κB. This macrophage defect was associated with lower basal and inducible expression of MyD88 and reflected impaired activation of STAT1 and overexpression of the STAT1 inhibitor SOCS1. Expression of MyD88 and responsiveness to the TLR4 ligand LPS were decreased by Stat1 siRNA silencing in WT macrophages and restored by Socs1 siRNA in 5-LO-deficient macrophages. These results uncover a pivotal role in macrophages for the GPCR BLT1 in regulating activation of NF-κB through Stat1-dependent expression of MyD88.
Inflammatory processes are prominent in various types of human and experimental pulmonary hypertension (PH) and are increasingly recognized as major pathogenic components of pulmonary vascular remodeling. Macrophages, T and B lymphocytes, and dendritic cells are present in the vascular lesions of PH, whether in idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) or PAH related to more classical forms of inflammatory syndromes such as connective tissue diseases, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), or other viral etiologies. Similarly, the presence of circulating chemokines and cytokines, viral protein components (e.g., HIV-1 Nef), and increased expression of growth (such as vascular endothelial growth factor and platelet-derived growth factor) and transcriptional (e.g., nuclear factor of activated T cells or NFAT) factors in these patients are thought to contribute directly to further recruitment of inflammatory cells and proliferation of smooth muscle and endothelial cells. Other processes, such as mitochondrial and ion channel dysregulation, seem to convey a state of cellular resistance to apoptosis; this has recently emerged as a necessary event in the pathogenesis of pulmonary vascular remodeling. Thus, the recognition of complex inflammatory disturbances in the vascular remodeling process offers potential specific targets for therapy and has recently led to clinical trials investigating, for example, the use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors. This paper provides an overview of specific inflammatory pathways involving cells, chemokines and cytokines, cellular dysfunctions, growth factors, and viral proteins, highlighting their potential role in pulmonary vascular remodeling and the possibility of future targeted therapy.
BACKGROUND - In early clinical studies, the live tuberculosis vaccine Mycobacterium bovis BCG exhibited 80% protective efficacy against pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). Although BCG still exhibits reliable protection against TB meningitis and miliary TB in early childhood it has become less reliable in protecting against pulmonary TB. During decades of in vitro cultivation BCG not only lost some genes due to deletions of regions of the chromosome but also underwent gene duplication and other mutations resulting in increased antioxidant production.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS - To determine whether microbial antioxidants influence vaccine immunogenicity, we eliminated duplicated alleles encoding the oxidative stress sigma factor SigH in BCG Tice and reduced the activity and secretion of iron co-factored superoxide dismutase. We then used assays of gene expression and flow cytometry with intracellular cytokine staining to compare BCG-specific immune responses in mice after vaccination with BCG Tice or the modified BCG vaccine. Compared to BCG, the modified vaccine induced greater IL-12p40, RANTES, and IL-21 mRNA in the spleens of mice at three days post-immunization, more cytokine-producing CD8+ lymphocytes at the peak of the primary immune response, and more IL-2-producing CD4+ lymphocytes during the memory phase. The modified vaccine also induced stronger secondary CD4+ lymphocyte responses and greater clearance of challenge bacilli.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE - We conclude that antioxidants produced by BCG suppress host immune responses. These findings challenge the hypothesis that the failure of extensively cultivated BCG vaccines to prevent pulmonary tuberculosis is due to over-attenuation and suggest instead a new model in which BCG evolved to produce more immunity-suppressing antioxidants. By targeting these antioxidants it may be possible to restore BCG's ability to protect against pulmonary TB.
The chemokine RANTES is critically involved in neuroinflammation and has been implicated in the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis. We examined the possibility that activation of G-protein-coupled metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors regulates the formation of RANTES in glial cells. A 15 hr exposure of cultured astrocytes to tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interferon-gamma induced a substantial increase in both RANTES mRNA and extracellular RANTES levels. These increases were markedly reduced when astrocytes were coincubated with l-2-amino-4-phosphonobutanoate (l-AP-4), 4-phosphonophenylglycine, or l-serine-O-phosphate, which selectively activate group III mGlu receptor subtypes (i.e., mGlu4, -6, -7, and -8 receptors). Agonists of mGlu1/5 or mGlu2/3 receptors were virtually inactive. Inhibition of RANTES release produced by l-AP-4 was attenuated by the selective group III mGlu receptor antagonist (R,S)-alpha-methylserine-O-phosphate or by pretreatment of the cultures with pertussis toxin. Cultured astrocytes expressed mGlu4 receptors, and the ability of l-AP-4 to inhibit RANTES release was markedly reduced in cultures prepared from mGlu4 knock-out mice. This suggests that activation of mGlu4 receptors negatively modulates the production of RANTES in glial cells. We also examined the effect of l-AP-4 on the development of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) in Lewis rats. l-AP-4 was subcutaneously infused for 28 d by an osmotic minipump that released 250 nl/hr of a solution of 250 mm of the drug. Detectable levels of l-AP-4 ( approximately 100 nm) were found in the brain dialysate of EAE rats. Infusion of l-AP-4 did not affect the time at onset and the severity of neurological symptoms but significantly increased the rate of recovery from EAE. In addition, lower levels of RANTES mRNA were found in the cerebellum and spinal cord of EAE rats infused with l-AP-4. These results suggest that pharmacological activation of group III mGlu receptors may be useful in the experimental treatment of neuroinflammatory CNS disorders.