Foxp3+ T regulatory (Treg) cells promote immunological tumor tolerance, but how their immune-suppressive function is regulated in the tumor microenvironment (TME) remains unknown. Here, we used intravital microscopy to characterize the cellular interactions that provide tumor-infiltrating Treg cells with critical activation signals. We found that the polyclonal Treg cell repertoire is pre-enriched to recognize antigens presented by tumor-associated conventional dendritic cells (cDCs). Unstable cDC contacts sufficed to sustain Treg cell function, whereas T helper cells were activated during stable interactions. Contact instability resulted from CTLA-4-dependent downregulation of co-stimulatory B7-family proteins on cDCs, mediated by Treg cells themselves. CTLA-4-blockade triggered CD28-dependent Treg cell hyper-proliferation in the TME, and concomitant Treg cell inactivation was required to achieve tumor rejection. Therefore, Treg cells self-regulate through a CTLA-4- and CD28-dependent feedback loop that adjusts their population size to the amount of local co-stimulation. Its disruption through CTLA-4-blockade may off-set therapeutic benefits in cancer patients.

Expansion of tumor-associated Treg cells upon disruption of a CTLA-4-dependent feedback loop

Marangoni F.
;
Corsini M.;Thelen M.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Foxp3+ T regulatory (Treg) cells promote immunological tumor tolerance, but how their immune-suppressive function is regulated in the tumor microenvironment (TME) remains unknown. Here, we used intravital microscopy to characterize the cellular interactions that provide tumor-infiltrating Treg cells with critical activation signals. We found that the polyclonal Treg cell repertoire is pre-enriched to recognize antigens presented by tumor-associated conventional dendritic cells (cDCs). Unstable cDC contacts sufficed to sustain Treg cell function, whereas T helper cells were activated during stable interactions. Contact instability resulted from CTLA-4-dependent downregulation of co-stimulatory B7-family proteins on cDCs, mediated by Treg cells themselves. CTLA-4-blockade triggered CD28-dependent Treg cell hyper-proliferation in the TME, and concomitant Treg cell inactivation was required to achieve tumor rejection. Therefore, Treg cells self-regulate through a CTLA-4- and CD28-dependent feedback loop that adjusts their population size to the amount of local co-stimulation. Its disruption through CTLA-4-blockade may off-set therapeutic benefits in cancer patients.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11379/546216
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