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

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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 γδ T 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 γδ T cells, altogether defining distinct mechanisms for IL-2c and αPD-L1 efficacy. γδ T cells did not improve IL-2c treatment of subcutaneously challenged BC or orthotopic (peritoneal) ovarian cancer, consistent with tissue-specific and/or tumor-specific γδ T cell contributions to IL-2c efficacy. IL-2c significantly altered bladder intratumoral γδ T cell content, activation status, and specific γδ T 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 γδ T 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 γδ T cell contributions to immunotherapy in bladder and engagement of adaptive immunity by IL-2c plus αPD-L1 to treat refractory lung metastases.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Reyes, RM; Deng, Y; Zhang, D; Ji, N; Mukherjee, N; Wheeler, K; Gupta, HB; Padron, AS; Kancharla, A; Zhang, C; Garcia, M; Kornepati, AVR; Boyman, O; Conejo-Garcia, JR; Svatek, RS; Curiel, TJ

Published Date

  • April 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 4

PubMed ID

  • 33849925

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8051418

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2051-1426

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1136/jitc-2020-002051


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England