The prognosis of high-risk neuroblastoma (NB) remains poor, although immunotherapies with anti-GD2 antibodies have been reported to provide some benefit. Immunotherapies can be associated with an IFNγ storm that induces in tumor cells the "adaptive immune resistance" characterized by the de-novo expression of Programmed Death Ligands (PD-Ls). Tumor cells can also constitutively express PD-Ls in response to oncogenic signaling. Here, we analyze the constitutive and the inducible surface expression of PD-Ls in NB cells. We show that virtually all HLA class Ipos NB cell lines constitutively express PD-L1, whereas PD-L2 is rarely detected. IFNγ upregulates or induces PD-L1 both in NB cell lines in vitro and in NB engrafted nude/nude mice. Importantly, after IFNγ stimulation PD-L1 can be acquired by NB cell lines, as well as by metastatic neuroblasts isolated from bone marrow aspirates of high-risk NB patients, characterized by different MYCN amplification status. Interestingly, in one patient NB cells were poorly responsive to IFNγ stimulation, pointing out that responsiveness to IFNγ might represent a further element of heterogeneity in metastatic neuroblasts. Finally, we document the presence of lymphocytes expressing the PD-1 receptor in NB-infiltrated bone marrow of patients. PD-1pos cells are mainly represented by αβ T cells, but also include small populations of γδ T cells and NK cells. Moreover, PD-1pos T cells have a higher expression of activation markers. Overall, our data show that a PD-L1-mediated immune resistance mechanism occurs in metastatic neuroblasts and provide a biological rationale for blocking the PD-1/PD-Ls axis in future combined immunotherapeutic approaches.

PD-L1 expression in metastatic neuroblastoma as an additional mechanism for limiting immune surveillance

DONDERO, ALESSANDRA;DELLA CHIESA, MARIELLA;PISTOIA, VITO;BELLORA, FRANCESCA;MORETTA, LORENZO;MORETTA, ALESSANDRO;BOTTINO, CRISTINA;CASTRICONI, ROBERTA
2016-01-01

Abstract

The prognosis of high-risk neuroblastoma (NB) remains poor, although immunotherapies with anti-GD2 antibodies have been reported to provide some benefit. Immunotherapies can be associated with an IFNγ storm that induces in tumor cells the "adaptive immune resistance" characterized by the de-novo expression of Programmed Death Ligands (PD-Ls). Tumor cells can also constitutively express PD-Ls in response to oncogenic signaling. Here, we analyze the constitutive and the inducible surface expression of PD-Ls in NB cells. We show that virtually all HLA class Ipos NB cell lines constitutively express PD-L1, whereas PD-L2 is rarely detected. IFNγ upregulates or induces PD-L1 both in NB cell lines in vitro and in NB engrafted nude/nude mice. Importantly, after IFNγ stimulation PD-L1 can be acquired by NB cell lines, as well as by metastatic neuroblasts isolated from bone marrow aspirates of high-risk NB patients, characterized by different MYCN amplification status. Interestingly, in one patient NB cells were poorly responsive to IFNγ stimulation, pointing out that responsiveness to IFNγ might represent a further element of heterogeneity in metastatic neuroblasts. Finally, we document the presence of lymphocytes expressing the PD-1 receptor in NB-infiltrated bone marrow of patients. PD-1pos cells are mainly represented by αβ T cells, but also include small populations of γδ T cells and NK cells. Moreover, PD-1pos T cells have a higher expression of activation markers. Overall, our data show that a PD-L1-mediated immune resistance mechanism occurs in metastatic neuroblasts and provide a biological rationale for blocking the PD-1/PD-Ls axis in future combined immunotherapeutic approaches.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/828290
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