CD122-directed interleukin-2 treatment mechanisms in bladder cancer differ from αPD-L1 and include tissue-selective γδT cell activation

Ryan Michael Reyes, Yilun Deng, Deyi Zhang, Niannian Ji, Neelam Mukherjee, Karen Wheeler, Harshita B. Gupta, Alvaro S. Padron, Aravind Kancharla, Chenghao Zhang, Myrna Garcia, Anand V.R. Kornepati, Onur Boyman, Jose R. Conejo-Garcia, Robert S. Svatek, Tyler J. Curiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background Anti-programmed death-ligand 1 (αPD-L1) immunotherapy is approved to treat bladder cancer (BC) but is effective in <30% of patients. Interleukin (IL)-2/αIL-2 complexes (IL-2c) that preferentially target IL-2 receptor β (CD122) augment CD8+ antitumor T cells known to improve αPD-L1 efficacy. We hypothesized that the tumor microenvironment, including local immune cells in primary versus metastatic BC, differentially affects immunotherapy responses and that IL-2c effects could differ from, and thus complement αPD-L1. Methods We studied mechanisms of IL-2c and αPD-L1 efficacy using PD-L1+ mouse BC cell lines MB49 and MBT-2 in orthotopic (bladder) and metastatic (lung) sites. Results IL-2c reduced orthotopic tumor burden and extended survival in MB49 and MBT-2 BC models, similar to αPD-L1. Using antibody-mediated cell depletions and genetically T cell-deficient mice, we unexpectedly found that CD8+ T cells were not necessary for IL-2c efficacy against tumors in bladder, whereas γδT cells, not reported to contribute to αPD-L1 efficacy, were indispensable for IL-2c efficacy there. αPD-L1 responsiveness in bladder required conventional T cells as expected, but not γδT cells, altogether defining distinct mechanisms for IL-2c and αPD-L1 efficacy. γδT cells did not improve IL-2c treatment of subcutaneously challenged BC or orthotopic (peritoneal) ovarian cancer, consistent with tissue-specific and/or tumor-specific γδT cell contributions to IL-2c efficacy. IL-2c significantly altered bladder intratumoral γδT cell content, activation status, and specific γδT cell subsets with antitumor or protumor effector functions. Neither IL-2c nor αPD-L1 alone treated lung metastatic MB49 or MBT-2 BC, but their combination improved survival in both models. Combination treatment efficacy in lungs required CD8+ T cells but not γδT cells. Conclusions Mechanistic insights into differential IL-2c and αPD-L1 treatment and tissue-dependent effects could help develop rational combination treatment strategies to improve treatment efficacy in distinct cancers. These studies also provide insights into γδT cell contributions to immunotherapy in bladder and engagement of adaptive immunity by IL-2c plus αPD-L1 to treat refractory lung metastases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere002051
JournalJournal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 13 2021

Keywords

  • drug evaluation
  • immunotherapy
  • lymphocyte activation
  • preclinical
  • tumor microenvironment
  • urinary bladder neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research

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